Tom Williams & The Boat - My Bones

Wit in popular song doesn’t get enough credit these days.

Label: Moshi Moshi

Rating: 8

After releasing their first album ‘Too Slow’ in the winter of 2011, Tom Williams & The Boat are now gearing up for their second, using PledgeMusic to help finance the effort. Their forthcoming single ‘My Bones’, which recently won the fans’ vote for Steve Lamacq’s Rebel Playlist, is an early taste of things to come.

Compared to the menacing ‘Concentrate’ and ‘Get Older’ of the debut album, the rhythm of ‘My Bones’ is more conventional, yet augmented with sorrowful violin. It’s a love song, and it’s a sad one at that, as if Williams and his “Boat” were a darker version of Young Rebel Set. The tune chronicles the end of a relationship, as seen through the eyes of a jilted man. Williams is a master storyteller: we learn he keeps the photo of his love in his pocket as a reminder of their days together. The rest of his life has become absurd in the absence of this woman he is still so in love with; in his disjointed, emotionally drained mind, he jokes he has hired a pack of dogs from hell to protect him, and since the break-up, he’s joined a basketball team to keep himself busy. You couldn’t make these lyrics up if you tried. Yet somehow Tom Williams did, and it’s further proof he’s a fine songwriter.

The chorus includes the line “I love you from the marrow of my bones,” which might sound like the kind of Valentine’s Day greeting Gordon Ramsey sends to his missus. But you have to give Williams bonus points for originality. Wit in popular song doesn’t get enough credit these days.