Tom Walker today makes a poignant return, sounding like you’ve never heard him before on brand new, defining single ‘Burn’ – listen HERE.
‘Burn’ arrives as a rallying cry from an artist who made his name – and earned his Number One album, 2019 Brit Award, & international hit in ‘Leave A Light On’ – for the candour in his craft. But what happens when that artist, with two million worldwide album sales and over three billion global streams in tow, nearly calls it quits?
The songs he wrote last year for album number two? Binned. The half-measures and second-guessing? Burned. The relationship with his record label? Fractured. Just like any job, Tom Walker wasn’t immune to the pressures of work and high expectations. Exhausted from the ongoing pressure of being present on social media and of the criticism from his record label on over 130 “mediocre” songs he’d written, he was fuming…
“I had just done seven days of rehearsal in a row, straight into a UK tour, then into 2 weeks of writing, worked my arse off every hour, of every day for months,” Tom explains. “When the powers that be came back having a dig at the songs I’d poured my heart and my soul into, I absolutely lost it. I honestly thought ‘I’m going to have to call it a day with music, it was making me miserable’ I was angry, and you can hear that in ‘Burn’. In many lines of work, music included, you give it everything and sacrifice every other aspect of your life and it’s never enough.”
Tom subsequently headed out to Los Angeles to write with the McDonough brothers, Ryan Daly & Castle, who’s credits between them include Joji, Khalid, Mimi Webb and John Legend. “Their love and passion for the whole thing reignited something in me that I didn’t realise I’d lost – which was the excitement and the love and the trying of brand new things.”
The results speak for themselves. On ‘Burn’, that song writing skill now comes armed and armour-plated with dynamic production, propulsive rhythm and multi-coloured soundscapes.
“I gave you my blood, my sweat, my tears / And all you ever did was leave me here / Set me on fire cause you love the hurt,” sings Walker, like his life depended on it, taking a swipe at the record label over urgent, hammering beats, teeing up a towering chorus: “Set me on fire just to watch me… BURN.” Like the man said: he sounds like he’s been pushed to his absolute limit, and the song that came at the lowest moment in his relationship with the label, ends up being the track the label demanded be his comeback single.