Singer/songwriter Tom Proctor wants to take us on a wild ride through a town he knows all too well in the new single “In Hollywood,” a song saddled with a raging riff rock tonality and seasoned with a style of vintage Americana that Proctor has become known for. “Little girl here in Hollywood / You sure are lookin’ good / Oh tell me, have you ever seen the Walk of Fame?” he sings in the opening stanza, his words accented with an ironic wisdom that has been absent from the majority of mainstream country songs dominating the FM airwaves in 2018 and 2019. He continues on with a poetic drawl that is both warm and yet somehow distant and removed from us; it’s almost as if Proctor is conjuring up a dream before our very eyes and communicating its most significant elements through the harmonies in the music rather than via his own stylish prose. “In Hollywood” is a very multidimensional single that doesn’t get too hung up on its own ambitions but nevertheless demonstrates the remarkable sonic depth of Proctor and his band The A-Listers.
The A-Listers are made up of Billy Mason, Mark Corradetti, Geoff Butterworth and Mark Thomas, and each of them brings a unique set of skills to the table in this song. Their chemistry is amazing, and you really get the sense that it’s completely organic in the way that they play off of each other’s cues in the track. While they’re firing off a rhythm that is unstoppable once it gets into gear in the intro of “In Hollywood,” Proctor is tranquilly dispatching urbane lyricism from the eye of the storm. He’s completely in his element here, dueling with the guitar parts using nothing more than his biting verses in a contest for our affections. In the end, all the players put on such a fine performance that it’s impossible to credit one over another, as without every subtle detail in this single it wouldn’t be the showstopper that it is. Film critics and moviegoers might be talking about his work in star-studded motion pictures at the moment, but I have a feeling that if Proctor continues to make music like this in the future, that narrative might change significantly.
Tom Proctor is one part traveling troubadour and another part surreal expressionist capable of making almost any medium his own, but no matter what you call this guy, he’s a modern day renaissance man with a creative talent that is beautifully exploited in this all-new single. His classic country sound is exactly what Nashville needs to get in touch with its roots once again, and while “In Hollywood” is in no way, shape or form a throwback that’s too in love with the past to ever affect the predominant trend of the present, it’s an uncorrupted product of an ancient tradition developed by hundreds of artists and songs that together comprise the very soundtrack of America as we’ve come to understand it. If you’ve been looking for a little bit of true blue country music lately, you needn’t look any further than this awesome single from the one and only Tom Proctor.