The Return Of Tom Vek
My breath is still heavy, my pulse is still racing, Tom Vek is back. Life is great.
I am writing this with a quickened heart beat, breath heavy – I can almost feel the blood pulsing through my veins. I have always been one for hyperbole, but there is nothing more deserving to be blown up to the world-ending proportions that I have escalated this to. Oh god, oh god, oh god. I can scarcely believe that this is happening. 6 years after the release of his debut album – his extraordinary debut album – tonight the news has broken that Tom Vek is returning to the music scene with a new album.
A band with a new release does not usually generate these levels of interest, especially in the internet era. But this is not a normal artist. This is a man who made one of the best LPs of the past decade before slipping off the face off the earth. There have been rumours, lots of rumours, mainly of him dying, but it’s been the lack of coherence within them all that has been most frightening. Some people suggested that he’d gone mad and spent a year rewiring his own personal studio, others saying that they heard he’d been fronting other bands, the most recent being the note on his Wikipedia page that he had quit the industry and took up work in graphic design.
The doubters had long since given up hope, and the rest of us were starting to, too. 6 years is a long time for most people, but in music it’s an absolute lifetime. The surprising thing is that the songs he left behind during these wilderness years are still yet to age. Presumably penned and recorded in the years leading up to the release, they still sparkle with the invention and guile that most acts coming out today don’t show. He was relevant then, and a listen to the likes of ‘I Ain’t Saying My Goodbyes’ proves that he had the foresight to be better than the current crop. Even the B-sides were supreme, the sublime ‘One Horse Race’ a hidden treat for anyone willing to scour the depths of the internet for any unfound gems (or, indeed, lucky enough to stumble upon it during a game of GTA IV).
It’s a struggle to articulate how much this all means. Is his new stuff going to be as good as what came before? Possibly, but it’s a stupidly high bar that he has set himself. Will it have the same longevity? Is it going to enhance his legend? Will it ruin his mystique? At the moment, that doesn’t matter. This is the end of one saga that has gone on for far too long. I can remove that google alert notification, take the Wikipedia page off my homepage, put an end to the sporadic forum searches that have punctuated the past few years. This is the start of a new story: one in which Tom Vek should, all things permitting, rise to be the biggest star in world again. That last bit might be hyperbole – I can promise that nothing before it was. My breath is still heavy, my pulse is still racing, Tom Vek is still back. Life is great.