Tom McShane is a musician/songwriter from a small coastal village near Belfast in Northern Ireland. Although regularly compared to lo-fi trailblazers, Will Oldham Bill Callahan and Elliot Smith, the fact that he was raised on a strict diet of Leonard Cohen, Van Morrison and Johnny Cash is perhaps as telling.
The groundwork for his unique brand of melancholia was laid in “Songs are Sad”, a low fi, home recorded mini album. In 2006, Northern Irish indie-synth-pop duo, Oppenheimer took Tom’s music to an international audience when their cover of Tom’s lo-fi anthem, Don’t Call Me featured on their eponymous Bar/None Records debut.
In 2007 Tom signed to fledgling San Francisco based indie label, Penny who released the “Departures” mini album, Tom’s official Debut. In November & December of that year Tom toured the US Pacific coast to promote the record. In 2008 Tom built apon the success of “Departures” with his highly acclaimed single “Fighter” along with further touring in Ireland in 2008 and a second tour of the USA in 2009.
2010 saw Tom challenge convention with an innovative recording project. Inspired by those great recordings from the days before overdubs and multitracking, Tom assembled and rehearsed a 13 piece band and in two live sessions recorded his entire full length debut in the presence of a live audience. The album will be released in 2011.
Tom has performed with Holly Golightly, Arab Strap, Malcolm Middleton, White Hinterland, Nad Navillus (Songs: Ohia), Hal, Fionn Regan to name but a few.
“Loose-limbed, imaginatively coloured by moody organs and xylophones, [Scene at the Citadel] is an EP which shows that all involved are steadily raising their game. We should monitor developments with Tom – he’s here for the long haul…” Colin Carberry – Hotpress
“Tom is in the company of those meta-sad acts that have graced the Domino label, like Bill Callaghan, Elliot Smith and Will Oldham. Tom is a steady voice in a landscape of shrill amateurs.” Stuart Bailie – Oh Yeah
“Tom has made his under confidence and fragility the stuff of high art. Essential stuff.” NI Music Magazine (A & R Section)
“A touch of greatness, Tom is clearly a bit of a musical genius. Hopefully he’ll finally put out that classic debut album of slow burners he so very obviously has welling up inside him.” Dave Roy – The Irish News