Produced by rising Decca Records star Rhys Lewis, ‘Superficial’ sounds like the brainchild of Nile Rodgers and Sade scoring a Boogie Nights sequel. Managing to tactfully balance its glossy velvet-toned nostalgic influences with a raw and stripped-back production approach, ‘Superficial’ sees Tommy Downs analysing the psychological perils of a generation addicted to selfies and social media. It’s all captured in the contradiction at the heart of its narrative: guy judges girl for taking a selfie with him, yet harbours a desire to see himself tagged in it the next day. Ultimately ‘Superficial’ navigates the complex, maddening, and circular logic of technological overthink by asking us if we’re even perhaps a little attracted to the idea of our own narcissism. Maybe the fact that we go into these things ambivalently makes us more woke anyhow? It’s three minutes of clever, concise and thought-provoking pop that puts Downs both sonically and lyrically on a standout path.
Tommy Downs is the sharp-suited and incisive lyricist and frontman to Harker Moon. He started the project in 2015 with schoolmates Hal Briggs, Ben Phillips, and Elliot Lindsay. The band peddle an uproarious blend of rock, soca, funk and roots with a trademark relish for old-school feel good vibes. Tommy has been writing music and recording since he was fourteen, and since leaving university a year and a half ago, has been dedicating himself to it fully. In that time, he’s already netted a few accolades and picked up a wealth of practical experience – winning an award for ‘Best Original Composition’ at the UK Open Mic Competition, for instance. He also started performing as the male vocalist for Bristol University Jazz Orchestra in 2015 and now gigs in venues across London including the Camden Assembly. Tommy’s broad knowledge of musical styles and emphasis on innovative stylistic fusions make him one of the most interesting new artists coming up this year. Both as a bandleader and as a solo artist Tommy unequivocally shines, but it’s in the latter category that we see his unique artistry in its full resplendent glory.