TOMMY NEWPORT, “Bubblegum”
With each single that he releases, I’m having fun trying to figure out where Manchester-born, Kansas-based singer/actor Tommy Newport is coming from. From the alt.rock/hip hop flavoured “Stargazer” and the topical and soulful “Vanilla & Light”, he really is rather unpredictable. So with “Bubblegum”, his pleasing falsetto returns but in gentle, world-weary slice of alt.pop that basks in the power of sweet love. Add some funky bass rhythms and “Bubblegum” turns out to be an understated anthem of sorts. We don’t have enough love in the world, so if the song presents 60’s summer of love vibes to you too, then all the better. Whatever your take, this kind of “Bubblegum” is the kind you can swallow, and I’m happy to keep listening as Tommy takes us for a different ride every time.
TOMMY NEWPORT, “Vanilla & Light”
I first brought UK-born, Kansas-based singer and actor Tommy Newport to your attention this summer with his hip-hop flavoured track “Stargazer”, which features Grammy-nominated duo EARTHGANG. “Vanilla & Light” takes a sidestep into 70’s soul with a melody and song structure that would not seem out of place next to music by R&B greats like Luther Ingram or Major Harris, and follows a reintroduction of this style to today’s audience by Bruno Mars and Anderson.Paak through the recent “Leave The Door Open”. With an earnest falsetto intact, Tommy melds this backdrop with indie pop trappings and lyrics that spotlight individuals who struggle day-to-day with internalized thoughts, overthinking that they can never be good enough. So many young people with mental health challenges will be able to relate to “Vanilla & Light” and its unique presentation. Tommy Newport is certainly one to watch in 2021/22. Check out the video, which he wrote and edited, above.