In today’s age, technology has flooded our lives with content. Caught in the mire are today’s musicians who champion an art form that’s more widely distributed than any other throughout human history. And we, more often than not, overlook the music created by unfamiliar faces because it’s challenging. We’d rather have an easy listen, a known quantity to skim through while we think about something else.
Hearing is easy, but listening is difficult. Welcome to “Why We Like It”, where we rebuke the trends in favor of thoughtful analysis and underknown sounds.
“Breeze” by Tom Hodson
How We Found It
Somebody left the front door of our SubmitHub open, and a breeze rolled in – Tom Hodson’s “Breeze,” to be exact. “Can you hear that,” I asked, “like the sampled vocal of a Wu-Tang cut?” Nobody answered. I looked around. I was alone in my study. It was then that I remembered the SubmitHub house was merely a metaphor, and I’d been at home this whole time. Sometimes, you just get in the zone, you know?
Why We Like It
Admittedly, I’m a big old fan of the backpack. That’s largely to do with the work of acts such as Mos Def, Kanye and Talib, who put soul samples to work in beautifully bittersweet mosaics, and whilst I’m not down with the self-righteous fandom the movement seemed to foster, it really did mean something special to me. Tom Hodson’s “Breeze” was like a breath of fresh air when it rolled into the inbox, admittedly more aligned with the work of dusty soul sampler RZA.
Hodson pieces together a cut-and-paste hook, furnished by lyrics and asides from other emcees, and fills the spaces between with sometimes simple but ever appropriate verses. His vocals are coated in a distinctive Derbyshire drawl and are placed with care. It’s really the space that he gives the instrumental that makes the track breathe, and for that reason, I think your enjoyment of the song hinges on your love of instrumental hip-hop: the man’s microphone presence is wilfully unobstructing, and that choice – denying him of many a dextrous lyrical flex – only serves the song better. There’s a lesson there: sometimes it’s what you do, but sometimes it’s what you don’t, and whilst his bars hit crisp and evocative, his reticence is just as effective.
From Tom Hodson
I’ve been into Hip-Hop for quite a while now, but I remember I was truly drawn in when I began to come across artists who would be amazing at capturing particular vibes and emotions which really suited what they had to say. RZA and Raekwon with ‘Rainy Dayz’ or Game with ‘My Life’ really springs to mind here.
After breaking down favorite artist and producers sounds, it is important to me to be as detailed as possible and portray clear moods and feelings also. This precise approach is important in the ongoing development of my soulful yet cinematic sound and I’m glad you appreciate it.”– Tom Hodson for CentralSauce (2020)
More From Tom Hodson
Tom’s only just getting started, and you’ll find just one other single – 2017’s “I Wanna Caddy” – on his Spotify page. That’s cool, though, because he’s put together a formidable playlist replete with favorites, influences, and crate-digging standards, and it’s well worth your time. You can also check out his Instagram, Twitter, Bandcamp, and Facebook.
Naturally, Spotify isn’t the best place to source music from those who deal in samples. If you hit up his SoundCloud, you’ll see that “I Wanna Caddy” was included on 2017’s Wallflower EP, and you’ll find plenty of loosies, including a “Many Men” remix and a whole host of one-off efforts. They’re well worth a look!
More to Discover
Subscribe to the CentralSauce mailing list so you never miss out on the freshest sauce. Check out this continuously updated playlist of songs Conor has added to our Discovery section! Each track or artist has been featured in our “Why We Like It” section, so be sure to check out the page here on the site.