Put Your Records On: Tom Levin

Tom Levin Press Photo_Halff landsc_Ph Johan Töpel_high_res

At The Great Record Chase we strive to get inside the heads of prominent new artists, and what makes their musical nerves tick. Over the course of several months we have been putting together a project in which a selection of new artists on our radar have put together an editorial. This consists of musical influences that formed, shaped, and brought to life their sound. There has been an impressive amount of new talent that has come our way since starting this website back in the Fall, and we want to take everything to a whole new level. This feature will be regularly occurring on our website, so make sure to check back often.

Today we sit down with singer-songwriter Tom Levin, who hails from Sweden. Releasing two budding albums in 2014, Them Feet and Them Buffalo, the folk laden records are intricate and beautiful; creating harmonious songs throughout both. Let us get more familiar with Tom.

Name three albums or artists that influenced your musical styling you play today and why they are important to you.  What made them so influential to you?

Nirvana – MTV Unplugged In New York. I remember watching it on TV and buying the record about a year later. The performance together with the setlist of Nirvana’s own songs and a bunch of covers (the majority of them at the time unknown to me) blew me away. I had just started writing songs earlier that year (1993) but I think it was watching that concert that I truly fell in love with songwriting. It also taught me that it’s all about the songs and that it’s more or less just the production that decides what genre a song fits into.

The soundtrack to ”O Brother, Where Art Thou?”. I discovered the music when I saw the film in 2000. It opened my ears to old American folk music and I realized where some of the bands and artist I was influenced by had found their inspiration. I like the simplicity of the songs, the presence of the performers and the fairly unpolished sound. When I write my music I’m never really sure of what kind of song I’m writing, I just let it flow. But when I start recording my songs I realize that quite a few of my songs are folk inspired.

The soundtrack to ”Into The Wild”. This one I also discovered when I saw the movie. I like the works of Sean Penn, I like Eddie Vedder and I have a close bond with Alaska since I’ve lived there and it was there that I discovered I could sing. And when the three of them sort of came together it made a very strong impression on me. Though it should be said that some of the tracks on the soundtrack were not written by Vedder. All the songs are definitely inspired by old folk and roots music with a touch of the dissonant harmonies often found in Grunge. Grunge was the first music style that I embrace and I still sometimes hear traces of it in my music. The soundtrack is grand yet rough and very beautiful. When I write my music I very often see pictures as if from a movie and that approach has become even more evident to me since I saw ”Into The Wild”.

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