Photo: Jon Self Photography
OSM: Your second album, 'Make Yourself Known' is out now. What kind of reception has the album received so far?
It’s been fantastic. The album is a labour of love that was recorded during the Covid-19 lockdowns from 2020 and has proven to be a cathartic and positive collection of songs that listeners have been really connecting with and relating to after the past few years. Each song has taken on a life of it’s own and the greatest feeling is hearing that someone loves each and every song of the album!
OSM: The songs on the album have been written throughout the last decade - are any of them particularly special to you?
‘New Signals’ is without a doubt my most personal, heartfelt and honest song and was written about personal turmoil but took on a new lease of life after 2020 and has become an anthem for love and loss in a new era. The song was loved by several best friends and family that I have sadly lost for various reasons and the song has become a testament to those friendships and relationships and the years we were fortunate enough to have known together.
OSM: Was it difficult to decide which songs made it on to the album?
I had around 25 songs originally slated for the album and the 12 that made it fell into place very easily. These were a mixture of tracks from 2013 onwards that contained the same vibes, the same sentiment and an underlying positivity that I easily slotted together to bring the record to life. As with most things with this LP, everything seemed to just fall in to place organically and so comfortably!
OSM: Recorded remotely during the pandemic, did this method bring any particular challenges?
Sending tracks back and forth can prove a great hassle and direct communication is always going to be key for getting the right sounds and vibes through on a record, but I was fortunate enough to work with such consummate professionals, who know me very well and know what my music and songs require - so it luckily wasn’t much hassle at all!
OSM: Does the album have a particular theme or message?
Make Yourself Known is a reference to how we all spend so much time convincing ourselves and others that everything is ok in the world when it is quite evidently not. Albeit within relationships, friendships, work and even creative endeavours – it is a call to be honest and open in everything we do and make intentions and feelings apparent before these begin to eat away our thoughts into negativity.
OSM: Who are you inspired or influenced by?
The world around me, the music I’ve grown up listening to, the movies I adore, my friends, my relationships, my family, political and social turmoil…the list is endless. My subjects for song-writing have been noted as eclectic, diverse and thought-provoking.
Musically, I am inspired by the great storytellers of this world. The poets like Neil Young, Alanis Morissette, Dave Matthews, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty to name but a few; the musical genius of the blues/jazz/soul artists like John Lee Hooker, BB King, Aretha Franklin, Marc Broussard et al; plus the angst and heartbreak of contemporary rock and emo, the likes of Taking Back Sunday, Paramore, The Early November etc! Music is in my blood and my eclectic taste flavours my songs in various ways!
OSM: What's next for Tom Craven?
With the album out in the world for all to enjoy, I have a number of shows taking me into the summer, before I take a break for some rather exciting personal events! Into 2024 and beyond, we are set for taking these songs out for licensing and publishing and seeing where the musical world can take me!