Tom Vek - Leisure Seizure

by Ol Haill Rating:8 Release Date:2011-06-06

After close to six years out of the small, focused spotlight his first album attracted, Londoner Tom Vek is back. His new album, Leisure Seizure, is instantly recognisable as the work of Mr Thomas Timothy Vernon-Kell. His voice is still flatly delivered like a soft backhand slap and the tracks all ooze a similar delicately rhythmical intricacy to his earlier issue.

Fans of the first are unlikely to be disappointed by the second. While the deft electronic crispness remains it is now often fleshed out here and there with a more muscular sound and a more philosophical feeling. 'On a Plate' serves up some bulging piano powerchords with threatening, growling bass-line, almost dubsteppy, rippling under the skin. And on 'You Need to Work Your Heart Out', the Vek sound seems to have undergone a workout.
Likewise, the lyrical content is palpating with feeling. As well as the great length of time Vek apparently spent finding the right place (literally, that is, as he eventually created his own studio in which to complete recording), it seems he has spent a lot of the time mulling over his life, as any super-talented multi-instrumentalist nearing their 30s would of course be prone. Relationships, anxieties, statements of intent, various feelings noted and remembered. These emerge in tracks like the saturnine 'A.P.O.L.O.G.Y' (where the Y is delivered needily, almost belligerently), 'We Do Nothing' and 'You Need to Work Your Heart Out', the latter where his deadpan vocals are at their most urging. On 'World of Doubt', he drones, "No-one really knows you, knows you and what you really like", meandering from this theme onto the narrator's trust in his "own voice" and desire "to be bold".
I wouldn't call this album bold, however, but it is rather beautiful.

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