Review by Lily Carr-Gomm
(Who are they, and why does everyone I know… including me… love them so much?)
Two of the leading pioneers of the hot, buzzing New Wave Jazz scene, and two of my favourite artists at the moment, are classically-trained beat-maker/producer, Mr Tom Misch and singer song-writer Mr Zak Abel. Adored by many, their soulful buttery vocals mixed with funky, get-out-of-your-seat-and-groove beats and instrumentals force you to stop what you’re doing, immerse yourself in the track and immediately flood your music feed with them both.
Both of their ever-growing fan bases are indicative of the talent shared by the two, paired with their likeable familiarity; with a complete lack of inflated egos and untouchability, both let the music do the talking for them. I decided to rustle up some friends and ask them which artist they prefer, a seemingly simple question that turned out to be painfully difficult to most.
The answer I got was…..
…a dead heat. No one could pick between the two, no matter how hard I pressured them, and those that did decide evened each other out. So sadly neither of them burst through the finishing tape first. This proves that both are totally glorious equally in their own right-the outcome we all knew form the start. Contrasting to the deafening silence/mild confusion of the prior question, when asked WHY they had so much love for either artist, I could not shut them up. Here’s what they had to say:
Freya, 18: “So I essentially think they're both as good as each other as they both have similar vibes, however I do prefer Misch's more mellow songs and find the whole of ‘Beat Tape 2’ very relaxing to listen to (especially 'The Journey’). Whereas with Zak I'm much more likely to listen to him when I’m in the need of a good dance or want some funky walking music. Songs like ‘Running From Myself’ and ‘Only When We're Naked’ are so energetic that I find them almost impossible to listen to without bopping along to…”
Poppy, 19: “I absolutely love how all of Tom Misch’s songs have a similar sound but at the same time are quite different because of the varying instrumentals and mixing he puts together, like the guitar riffs and jazzy saxophone on some of his earlier stuff."
Alex, 20: “Zak’s new album is just too good. The contrast between the upbeat, energetic dance tracks such as ‘Say Sumthin’ and ‘Only When We’re Naked’ and the beautifully personal slower songs like ‘Deserved to be Loved’ is just pure genius, and the way he manipulates his voice to show such raw emotion through is absolutely stunning.”
Milla, 18: “I just really love how personal Zak Abel’s lyrics are. He doesn’t seem afraid to appear vulnerable in his songs which I really admire and that helps his fans connect to him on a much deeper level. ‘Deserved to be Loved’ is one of the most beautiful songs I have heard in a long time.
Dan, 21: “I only found out about Tom Misch the other day and I haven't stopped listening since. His music is just really easy to listen to and equally enjoyable at any time of day, whether that be first thing in the morning, on a long car journey or even at pre-drinks before going out… Perfect music for pretty much any occasion.”
Luke, 19: “I just really like how relatable and familiar Tom Misch is. Like he’s the type of dude I can easily imagine meeting down the pub and really getting along with. He really gives out that vibe with his music.”
Lily, 22: "I love Zak Abel’s music because it is simply the best for belting out in the shower and having a boogie, (so much so I do worry about slipping and falling quite often). On another level, his lyrics are beautifully put together and easy to relate to, which I love… Even slightly odd, hard-to-relate-to lyrics such as when he’s talking about making lemonade, “no matter how hard it gets” ... it still has a beautiful ring to it and one doesn’t even question it’s validity.”
All in all, after my quick failed survey, I concluded Misch and Abel are quite frankly a dream team and thus was overjoyed to find their beautiful love-child on the internet. As if they hadn’t blessed our ears already with each of their albums, they only hooked up with one another to create a track called “Beautiful Escape”. Having come out as a part of Misch’s ‘Beat Tape Two’ over two years ago, when Abel was mainly known for his vocals on Gorgon City’s ‘Unmissable’, this tune acts as one of the major stepping stones in Abel’s career, bringing him more well-deserved recognition and boosting his fan base. The song is a soulful blend of trip-hop beats, jazz guitar lilts, and the luscious, impassioned vocals provided by Abel, perfect for a sizzling summer’s road trip. If you’re a fan of either’s music then you will undoubtably fall in love with this humdinger of a tune.
Album: Only When We’re Naked
Album: Beat Tape 2