Premiere: Drew Thomas Is “Running Reds” & Leaving Town on New Perfect Pop Single

Drew Thomas
Growing up in a small town can feel claustrophobic, but not even red lights could hold Drew Thomas back when he left for the big smoke.
Stream: “Running Reds”- Drew Thomas

Drew Thomas is now a London-based musician and songwriter, but that wasn’t always the case. Until 2017, Thomas resided in a small town near Nottingham, England. Living in a small town, away from the hustle and bustle of the city has its benefits, but for a young, budding musician, it presented roadblocks.

Drew Thomas
Drew Thomas © Rebecca Need-Menear Photography

After his frustrations grew, Thomas took the plunge and moved to London. Since then, he has played shows across the country, gained support from BBC Introducing and Sofar Sounds, and released four mesmerising singles. Now, he’s back with his second release of 2020, “Running Reds.” “Running Reds” is the upbeat follow up single to Somebody You Needed. This time around, Thomas has taken a more exuberant sonic-stance. He has created a delightfully danceable pop track that still retains the coming of age themes of frustration and plight that he has expressed in his previous work.

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering Drew Thomas’ new single, “Running Reds.”

A penny for my thoughts doesn’t go a long way
When I’ve been chasing lanes on a motorway
The necessary evils coming out to play
Remind me you’re gone 
I’m still on my own but I’m breathing
I smashed up my phone for no reason

“Running Reds” begins with dreamy electronic piano notes played over a metronomic beat that, when combined, create a soothing sonic space. The track soon lifts off as Drew’s soft vocals begin to tell the story of his move to London. The lyrics are full of pent up frustration, but the sound is light and upbeat, offering a feeling of hopefulness at the prospect of pursuing music in the capital city.

I’m a lonely heart in a lonely town
And I build you up but you let me down
I’m a lonely heart in a lonely town
And I build you up but you let me down
Drew Thomas
Drew Thomas © Rebecca Need-Menear Photography

The chorus springs into action with a strong percussive beat and lively vocal. The “Running Reds” chorus is an undeniable earworm made from an amalgamation of pop sounds from the 80s, noughties, and the present day. Such a combination is not only nostalgic and playful but current and contemporary.

Silence only comes when you scream the most
Can we keep it down?
No-one has to know
Start another fire when you see the smoke
We’ve still a long way to go
Running Reds - Drew Thomas
Running Reds – Drew Thomas

When asked about the writing process behind his new single, Thomas tells Atwood Magazine, “I wrote “Running Reds” last year in the back of my car at a service station between shows.” He went on to explain, “There was always something really special about the lyrics to me, and it was the first time I’d written something that completely summed up what I wanted to say in such a simple way. After spending years living show to show, I made the decision to move to London and this song really summed up that frustration I had of being stuck in a small town, and all the angst that came with it. I really hope people connect with it and love it as I do.”

It only takes a flicker
To know you’re still alive
My tongue is burnt and bitter
We’ll keep running reds to burn this city down

The tempo takes a step down during the bridge to allow the track’s energy to build before the final excitingly energetic chorus. As the last chorus draws to a close, Thomas’ vocals begin to echo and fade into the distance, leaving just the tinkling of a piano and a sweet bird song to play the song out.

It is clear that Drew Thomas has a knack for writing perfect pop that is reminiscent of days gone by and eager for the future, both in sound and story. “Running Red” is bound to leave an impression on all that hear it.

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Stream: “Running Reds”- Drew Thomas

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Drew Thomas

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