There’s more than a little punk in the latest single from Tommy Prine. It’s raw and full of energy, with a driving rhythm and sing-along, shout-along chorus. Above all, Prine displays an ear for a great, catchy melody and an irreverent sense of humour. Prine sings: “I think there is something special about what you don’t know,” before unleashing a series of lines that feel like an off-the-wall stream of consciousness, a set of unreal images we can barely keep up with. The lines are made up from Prine’s internal dialogue, snippets of the conversations going on in his head. He explains: “I tend to create fake scenarios and people to argue with. So this song is an example of some of the scenarios or witty remarks that I would make in an argument…that will likely never happen.” Having such an intriguing perspective on the world around him is something he has in common with his father, the legendary John Prine. Tommy says: “It was the first song I wrote after my dad had passed and part of me thinks he had a hand in it somehow.”
This is the third single from ‘This Far South’, Prine’s debut album, which is due out on 23rd June 2023 via Thirty Tigers. The new record is produced by Ruston Kelly and Gena Johnson, excellent collaborators who help to ensure that the material is of the highest quality. ‘Mirror and a Kitchen Sink’ stands apart from Tommy’s other more acoustic, reflective songs. One of themes explored on the album is grief, following the loss of a friend to an overdose in 2017. He says: “Since then, I have lost some more friends and have others who are still navigating the ups and downs of struggles with drug abuse.” Of course, there was also the huge impact of losing his father to Covid-19 in 2020. Tommy explains: “The world lost one of the greatest songwriters of all time, but I lost my dad. The comment I get the most is how much I look like him, and sometimes it makes me feel like I’m a sad reminder to those who loved him. When I’m playing certain songs, I can literally look out in the crowd and tell who else has lost their dad. I can immediately tell which people have experienced, specifically, losing their father. They’ll come up and tell me afterward, and I’ll be like, ‘Yeah, like, I figured that this conversation was going to happen,’ because I could see their reaction. It’s been really powerful to see real-deal evidence that grief is a shared experience and that suffering is a shared experience between humans.” He’ll be supporting the new album on tour all round the USA this summer and into autumn – check out the dates here. This is a great first album, introducing us to Tommy Prine: he proves himself to be a fine songwriter in his own right and possesses his own voice. Check it out.