It’s impossible not to tap your feet along to this upbeat new single from New York’s Tom Moran. Moran’s rhythmic strum sounds bright and uplifting on his battered, old acoustic guitar while, over the top, his tender vocal dances around a catchy, radio-friendly melody. Although full of specific references to New York, the inspiration for so many songs, this is fundamentally a universal love song and unashamedly, unselfconsciously so. It’s about those early stages of a new relationship, when you are opening yourself up to another, and Moran captures the vulnerability that sits alongside the familiar feelings of excitement and freshness. Direct and disarming, Moran shares with us that hopefulness we’ve all felt at some point: “It’s getting late, still I don’t know you at all // I’m about to walk right in to knowing you forever.”
Moran explains further: “‘Roommate of a Friend of Mine’ is a story song. It’s a person describing falling in love on a crazy New York City night, as it’s happening.”
The accompanying video adds to the song’s narrative effectively. While delicate piano notes rise and fall, Moran is seen finding a vintage Super 8 video camera in a box left behind in an empty apartment. As he checks the footage, jangling guitars kick in and we are swept away into his character’s romantic memories. We see the couple filming each other interspersed with the footage they shoot and Moran singing his heart out in locations around New York. It works well and draws us into the story.
Moran has certainly come a long way since performing heavy metal with friends Ray Marte and Nick Lee (now part of progressive metal band Moon Tooth). Moran says: “As those guys got further and further into metal, it generated a lot of creative tension. We would be writing these really heavy songs, and I’d be thinking, ‘Well, how can I slip some Beatles-y melodic qualities into this music?’ It was an awesome challenge for me, and it made me a much better musician than I would’ve been otherwise. I learned so much from those guys and from them pushing me as a musician. I grew up as an artist and a person with them. And I loved screaming and smashing things and going crazy, but eventually the tension got so tight that it broke.” Moran has certainly found his own path now.
‘Roommate of a Friend of Mine’ is the first single of three, leading up to the release of Moran’s debut full-length record. The album, due on 24th September, was put together during the isolation of the last 18 months. During this period, Moran’s father passed away and this added further emotional textures and depths to the tales of everyday happiness and heartbreak featured. Check it out.
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