Reluctant to portray the lie of a perfect life, Tom Boy unveils their angsts, highs and lows in cathartic anthem “Wastecase”
Listen: “Wastecase” – Tom Boy
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” is arguably one of the biggest, most told universal lies, and one very often heard by musicians. You wake up enlightened, write a number one album in just over an hour, and the rest of your day is based around drinking champagne and strolling around in a limousine. That widely spread misconception is, certainly, far from reality.
Being a musician, even though rewarding at times, also comes with the emotional burden of being perhaps to in sync with one’s feelings (music is a form of self-expression, after all). Add the tensions of being in a band on top and some type of breakdown is pretty much guaranteed. However, it also means you can use music as a way of letting it all out, and that is what Tom Boy did in “Wastecase”.
Nate Daniels, one half of Tom Boy, did not have the greatest experience with his former band CAIRO: “ ‘Wastecase’ is a somewhat self-prophetic song. I was in the studio working with another songwriter while we were experiencing some internal issues with our former band CAIRO. Tour scheduling wasn’t lining up the way we wanted it to and, in my eyes, there were certain people to blame. My temper was out of control at that time – I was drinking on top of my doubts about CAIRO.”
However, every cloud has its silver lining, and in this that silver lining turned out to be an new exciting musical adventure. “During that session, I felt so frustrated that we couldn’t all make things work. With all of the drama we had just dealt with on a recent tour, I was done. The band ended that night. A few weeks later, I went to LA where all of the weight I had been carrying fell off my shoulders. I was writing more freely than ever before, and I was envisioning the next project. I was envisioning Tom Boy”, explains Daniels.
Watch: “Wastecase” – Tom Boy
The turmoil that surrounded Tom Boy’s beginnings also served as the inspiration behind “Wastecase”, a track that distils a sense of relief in the form of hook laden choruses and an overall anthemic sound. “We feel vindicated in having been able to move forward, and tell our truth about all the things that happened to us in our previous musical life. We portrayed ourselves as this squeaky-clean band – but underneath there was addiction, dependency, and a sort of preciousness that weakened our songwriting abilities. For some, “Wastecase” can serve as a breakup anthem or a song you crank up after quitting a job you’ve loathed for years – whatever it is, let it be cathartic!”, says Daniels.
An energetic drumbeat, present from the start, acts as a driving force throughout the song, creating a dynamic journey through a variety of sounds and patterns that differentiate the sections of the song, enhancing both the structure and the storytelling.
Bad days behind us
I’m bettin’ on the sun
California’s callin’ me
You can stay but girl I’m done
A laid back pre chorus encapsulates the essence of the track, the feeling of catharsis that comes with letting go of a burden, and leads into a powerful chorus, where that sensation resonates even louder:
One of us, ya one of us
Has big plans but I’m restrained
One of us, yeah one of us
Wears shackles of the others pain
You’re not my ball and chain
Having found a sound that recycles the best elements of an older sound, such as captivating guitar licks and a vigorous drum sound, and combined them with atmospheric synths and tastefully placed risers, Tom Boy’s track “Wastecase” proves to be a refreshing, compelling take on indie music.
📸 © Ryan Brough