Howling vocals fill my room as I listen to Thomas Tantrum’s newest track, Sleep. The voice is enthralling and a little bit Lulu-esque, resembling the spectacular vocal intro on her 1965 single Shout.
The voice described belongs to Megan Thomas, the lead singer of Thomas Tantrum, a Southampton based band. This foursome have flourished since 2008 when they released their critically acclaimed eponymous debut album and subsequent singles. But some things have changed since their first album. They’ve enlisted a new drummer, Dave Wade Brown, who they claim has helped them to come up with a fresh new sound.
Megan Thomas’ vocals have also undergone a make-over. Before they sounded child-like and out of control but now they have been fine-tuned giving their newest single fantastic and strong female vocals.
Sleep is a great indie-pop song to listen to if you want to wash away those winter blues. It definitely has something about it. After a few listens, I can guarantee that you’ll be singing the chorus of “Wakey wakey, it’s time to wake up now. Won’t you just sleep though?”
After the preview of the video being shown on NME.com a few weeks ago, I caught up with the band to ask them about their new single and their next steps.
It seems the band have thought long and hard about their current sound and soon to be released album. Guitarist and vocalist, Dave Miatt, said: “Things are a little more considered now. Certain nuances in the songs aren’t obvious on the first listen. Generally speaking we’ve had quite a bit of time to fine tune our song craft.
“We’ve put a lot of thought into which tracks made the final cut as well as the running order. It’s more of an album this time round as opposed to just a collection of songs.”
Since their 2008 releases, they have been busy writing and recording material for the second album due for release in the summer. But what should their fans expect?
Dave Miatt continued: “It’s still a party album like the last one but with more of a twilight vibe running through it. Not in the vampire sense. There are other monsters which rear their ugly heads instead.
“Sleep represents a recurring theme running through the album; that of dusk, dreaming, the moonlit soirée. It was kind of an obvious choice for the first single.”
Not everything has been altered with this band though. They’ve worked with the same producer as the debut album, ex-Embrace member Rick MacNamara. Sleep was mixed by Ash Howes who’s worked with Ellie Goulding, Marina and the Diamonds, Eliza Doolittle and Plan B. So what was the band’s experience in working with these two musical icons?
Dave said: “We were excited to be working with Rick again. He is an ideas man and always has something up his sleeve if we ever hit a brick wall.
“Ash has done a sterling job with Sleep with his final mix passing the ‘let’s play it through as many different speakers and headphones as possible’ test with flying colours.”
With a new single and album on the way, some may think that’s enough for Thomas Tantrum but they have plenty more planned. As they were answering my questions, they were also recording in the studio. Dave explains: “Right now, we are recording some alternate versions of some of our songs and demo-ing up some new ones. I am hoping the sound of my typing won’t bleed onto Megan’s vocal take too much.
“We are also currently booking a UK tour for around Easter. We have another free EP in the works as well as a couple of singles and obviously the album.”
It’s a busy couple of months for Thomas Tantrum but all their efforts will hopefully pay off. For more information on tour dates and releases, visit www.thomastantrum.co.uk.