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Tom Cary - new Single - I Can't Breathe

We do a fair amount of song reviews here at Nashville Calling and we feature new artists from all over the world but its great to hear from someone new in the UK too. So when we heard the new single from Cornwall based artist Tom Cary, we thought, hey lets ask him a few questions to get to know him a little more. But first, lets have a look and a listen to the track, "I Can't Breathe".

So "I Can't Breathe" is essentially a beautiful stripped down piano ballad, although if you strain your ears, you can hear a smidge of a single acoustic guitar between the keys. Tom's raw vocals are beautifully mixed over the top of it without the need of to many bells and whistles. We like it a lot. Its just the kind of production that allows the lyrics to be heard and emotions to breathe! No pun intended.

As you may have gathered from the first paragraph of this review, we didn't know an awful lot about Tom, so we set up an interview with him and I am sure you are dying to hear what he had to say to us, so without further ado, here's Tom.

NC: We are just listening to your new track, I Can't Breathe" here at Nashville Calling HQ and we are really enjoying the rawness of the track. Can you tell us about the decisions that went into this, as I am sure the song could have gone in many directions?

Tom: This is a great question to start with, as the song has indeed gone in many directions! I wrote the song back in 2012 and originally it had a pop feel to it, which never truly sat well with me as the song was then, as it is now, an emotional raw and intimate song and having all the production behind it back then seemed to take away from the intimacy of where the song was destined to be. So with all this in the back of my mind I decided last minute to change the angle of the song completely.


We have read your Press Release and you're calling this a "One Take" wonder? Can you tell us a bit more about this "one take"? As you may or may not known but I run a studio and I don't think I have ever had anyone do 1 take! So what happened? Was there a fire? Or did you really only need 1 take? I'm fascinated to know.

Tom: So the original version of this song that I recorded back in 2012 was a younger me, but because I still felt the song was super relevant to me now more than ever I wanted to revisit the song with my current vocal sound which we did, late last year . And we recreated a great country/pop song that was driving and punchy. We had just had two weeks in the studio creating this new version of the song with session musicians and the producer and I editing the whole track to radio quality, we even went to the final lengths of getting the track mastered. However, and this is a BIG however – when I sat in the studio and listened back to the song, I didn’t personally resonate with it and for me that’s a biggie. I’m writing something personal to me and I want to feel that the music that wraps around the words sit in a way that feel right for what I’m writing about. And in this instance I didn’t. So I scrapped it there and then and I said to the producer Gareth, “Just press record with the click track running” and myself on guitar and the pianist just played it from start to finish and what you hear now is the first take. Which I love about the song. Never have I been so raw and unpolished with a release, but I like the authenticity behind it. I feel that’s the magic in this song!


I totally understand that, it happens, we have done that ourselves. The essence of the song is lost in the process somewhere and its only when its all finished up that you realise its not what you set out to make. Its a horrible realisation, but I get it and We have been there too. Now we have been around the UK Country scene for several years and I thought I had heard of most of the UK artists who are actively gigging in the scene, but yours was a new name to us, where have you come from? Tell us a bit about how you have got to here?

Tom: Well I come from Cornwall, which never helps with getting your name out there in the big places. I have been gigging my whole life and gone down a couple of different genres and avenues to try and make ends meet as I have always wanted to do music as my main career and job. I have performed for many festivals and events over the years. But during the Pandemic I realised that my Country roots are what I never want to stray from again and I made a promise to myself to sing my own music more and be proud of it. Singing covers for 16 years didn’t do my creativity any good, so now I am writing regularly, recording all the time and keen to keep up the flow of releasing my own music regularly. So here I am.


So to the artwork. You are looking terrific in that beautiful leather jacket on the album cover but the guitar! What happened there, this is a piano track. its a great image don't get me wrong but no piano, anyway that's me just sweating the details.

Tom: You’re right in the fact it has Piano on the track, but it’s me on guitar alongside the piano and it’s the blend of the two together which I love. There are a few sounds that I really connect with, vocal harmonies and the harmony between piano and guitar. So, yes there is actually a fair bit of guitar on the track, but because we used an atmospheric sound and performed it together with the piano, it’s not so obvious in the mix . NC:

Anyhow, moving on, you must be thrilled that you are up for 2 nominations at the UK Country Radio Awards, how did that come about?

Tom: Yes, I’m absolutely over the moon and super excited for it. The awards are fantastic and they were coming up for public voting and I simply put the link out on my socials – the next thing is that I’ve made it to the finals. I was absolutely gobsmacked and so, so chuffed. The support of the people who are around me in Cornwall as well as all the people in the UK that listen to my music is just so overwhelming and it makes my heart melt. I absolutely LOVE what I do and will always do it, this together with the idea that people follow me and my music and listen to what I create is just a dream, so to be nominated for these awards is very special indeed! I’m very humbled and proud and would love to thank anyone reading this now that follows me!


So, plans for a follow up, what's in the pipeline for Tom Cary, recording wise.

Tom So I am currently working on a few singles behind the scenes and these singles may involve other artists, I can’t share anything further yet, but all I can say is its going to be extremely exciting indeed so watch this space. I imagine the next single will be out October time as I am trying to release my new music every couple of months or so. I have a band and we are looking at some large festival shows for next year which excites me a lot, as for me it’s as much about singing and recording in the studio as it is singing and performing live at shows.


And lastly, any plans to have a launch gig or where can people see you play live.

Tom: At this moment in time, we are working on new material and I’d like to include these in our upcoming shows for the band, however I am performing a solo gig at Dirty Blondes in Blackpool on the 19th November. Please do come along and have a listen, and if you’re interested in seeing me perform alongside my band then you may have to hold on, drop me a follow and watch this space If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook then you will hear when these shows are coming up. I cannot wait for getting out across the Country and seeing all the awesome country music fans and getting the opportunity to perform all my new songs at all the big festivals . I look forward to seeing you all at a show very soon. FB: @tomcarymusic IG: @tomcary_official

Tom's new track is out on Tuesday August 16th on all platforms

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