MayhemTom unveils infectious debut album ‘The Art Of Flying While Falling’

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MayhemTom unveils infectious debut album ‘The Art Of Flying While Falling’

Tom John has delivered a hopeful journey through anger, grief and loss with his debut album.

Since arriving with his debut single ‘Reach Out’ back in 2020, and teasing listeners with his first single in two years last month, Melbourne solo artist Mayhemtom, has unveiled his anticipated debut album, finally offering up something to really sink our teeth into.

The musical project of Tom John, MayhemTom’s debut album delivers on all fronts with a gold standard snapshot of catchy and inspired indie-rock that skillfully melds touches of world music and straight-up indie pop. 

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Spanning a collection of hypnotic, dreamy tracks, the debut album speaks volumes of his intent to create something vibrant and rich from the ground up, melding masterful storytelling with full band arrangements. With a desire to create music with a denser and richer full-band sound, the album takes on an ethereal quality with orchestral arrangements mixed with soaring vocals and tasteful guitar licks.

Across 12 tracks, John has a way of making you feel both relaxed and very intrigued as he deals with themes of anger, grief and loss, lyrically wearing his heart on his sleeve while simultaneously lifting moods with infectious indie-rock ballads packed with lush harmonies within soulful soundscapes.

The lyrics have a dark centre that encapsulates anger, grief and loss but can be offset by some of the musical styles which can be light and even joyful,” John says. 

With nods to the likes of The National, Radiohead and Paul Kelly, this is an album that’s quite clearly an amalgamation of his storied career and varied influences, having been involved in music since the 1990s when he helmed the funk-rock cover band Electric Mayhem. Making a return to music in recent years, it’s John’s day job that has also influenced the album, working at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre as an oncologist. Treating people dealing with cancer, his music reflects many of the issues he has dealt with through his work. 

“I spent a lot of time living and breathing music. Living it while playing in several bands and breathing it by going to loads of gigs, buying albums, absorbing and revelling in music. But then it all stopped and medicine and life took over,” he explains.

“Then I realised that it was a core part of who I was and fell back into it. This time using the knowledge I had gained over the years to channel the emotions that drove me to music in the first place. Grief, loss, elation and freedom. You will find all of these embedded in this album.”

‘Falling’ was the first single released from the album back in August, providing listeners with a first-taste that greatly captures the essence of the full album and what we were to expect.

“I was listening to quite a bit of The National at that time. The song itself is a love song written about my wife. It was while I was going through a period of burnout, stress and had just lost a patient similar age to me to cancer unexpectedly,” John says of ‘Falling’. 

“I think during that week I had cried with his widow and young kids in ICU and was feeling particularly vulnerable. So it is love, burnout and grief all rolled into one. I didn’t realise I was falling, I thought I was doing okay, until I took a step back and realised where I was.” 

Tapping into the funk-fuelled sounds of his earlier material yet showing significant songwriting maturity and instrumental dexterity, the debut stands as a creative watershed for Tom John.

MayhemTom, aka Tom John, will launch the album with a fundraiser for The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre taking place on Thursday October 13 at The Toff while vinyl sales will also go to Peter Mac. You can purchase tickets here

You can find out more information about The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and the work they do here and you can stream the album here