Tom West has released the acoustic version of ‘Emiko’, from his 2020 album ‘Antarctica’. A more earnest and intimate version, to say the least, the acoustic version highlights Tom as a songwriter and consummate musician and really showcases the song in a more concentrated light. Bringing the harmonies to the forefront and adding a subtle cello really make for an atmospheric and reflective piece of music. Sometimes an alternate version can bring the message across more with less.
Folk singer-songwriter Tom West is set to release a reimagined version of “Emiko,” a song off of his 2020 album Antarctica on February 23. In this live-acoustic rendition of the track, West brings wider breadth of emotion to the song by keeping the focus on simple guitar-picking, emotive strings and the wispy poignance of his voice. In this way, West allows the lyrics to shine brilliantly in the forefront for listeners to be fully engrossed in. Speaking on the complexities of “love and duty,” West recalls poetically the story of two characters who “have unexpectedly found one another but life and circumstances conspire to prevent the fairy tale from working out.” Speaking in both a relational and a broader social sense, West explains that “as people, we try to navigate this experience as best we can but sometimes, despite our best intentions, things can fall down and it can feel like we’re putting back pieces in places where they just don’t seem fit anymore.”
West shares that when he originally wrote the song he was in a completely empty house with just a couch, explaining that the natural echo and reverb of the space organically informed the melodic construction of the track. Later, when his friends Robbie Cavanagh and Demi Marriner did a cover of the song, he says he immediately connected with it. “I thought it was better than the way I originally sang the song, so when I was pondering which songs to reimagine, it was an obvious choice.” While the original version of “Emiko” is just as equally stirring as its stripped-back counterpart, there’s something to be said about the inherent introspection which the live-acoustic version encourages. The space between each breath allows listeners the privilege of drawing deeper significance from West’s raw and heartfelt lyricism.
About Tom West
Tom West is a singer-songwriter with a distinctive vocal style and propensity to write catchy, tender folk songs often embellished with ambitious arrangements and cinematic flair.
“[West’s] keening, androgynous voice – in an upper register that recalls Brian Aubert, frontman of Los Angeles indie rockers Silversun Pickups – is a joyously tuneful instrument, meshing with his finger-picked guitars, sprinklings of piano, bass and Ringo-like drums. West’s material … is consistently strong, with memorably melodic choruses,” praises The Australian.
Following a COVID enforced touring hiatus during which he returned to Australia through most of 2020 and 2021, West will be returning to the road less traveled: a double single and tour dates set for Spring 2022, new recordings in the making and appearances set for SXSW.
His sophomore album Antarctica, which Scenster regards as “one of the best albums of 2020,” was written during a period after his father died from Motor Neurone Disease. West was able to release it with the generous support of his community of fans via Kickstarter during COVID isolation after his album tour was canceled. Produced by Allen Tate (San Fermin) in Brooklyn, NY, it features a collection of songs that have proven to enthrall audiences from around the world with West’s forthcoming style and honesty behind his storytelling and music.
As far as his more recent releases, Rolling Stone Australia says his 2021 album I’m Livin’ is “truly special” and “a document to accompany self-reflection and meditation.” On one of his most popular singles, “A Folk Singer From Outer Space,” American Songwriter chimes in by saying the track “somehow offers some soothing solace for the current, permeating state of loss and isolation.” While this is only the tip of the iceberg for the praise which has followed West’s career, it’s the Courier Mail which delivers one of music’s highest compliments: “With his unique voice, storytelling and folk sensibility he could pass for a modern-day Neil Young.”