It’s always exciting when an artist sounds as good live as they do on record. So welcome then to Thomston, the musical alias of Thomas Stoneman; a New Zealand-born singer who on Friday gave his first live show in Auckland, performing five tracks from his recently-released Argonaut EP.
In the presence of family, friends and influential industry bigwigs, Thomston took to the stage for a five song set that aptly kicked off with my own personal favourite, Burning Out. If there’s a song that really sums him up in a nutshell, it’s this one. The track’s lyrics demonstrate an acute self-awareness that seem to transcend the songwriter’s eighteen years but are delivered with the maturity of a seasoned pro and a fragile honesty that makes him a relatable audio presence.
“Am I not the apex? I’m in this for the long haul…” he knowingly crooned, dipping effortlessly in and out of his impeccably controlled falsetto whilst a three man band pulled out all the stops in turning out intoxicating, atmospheric production that wouldn’t sound out of place on a SOHN or BANKS record.
Thomston’s material lends itself perfectly to the current electronic R&B landscape, and similarities could be drawn to the recent releases from music veterans Erik Hassle, Dev Hynes and even Nick Jonas. But then this Aucklander also isn’t afraid of pulling big pop hooks and crescendoing choruses out of the bag, best demonstrated on the night via the crowd-pleasing turns of Anaesthetic and Motley Crew.
Despite being a relative newcomer to the music scene, Thomston’s first live outing succeeded in showcasing him not only as a mesmerising stage presence striking the perfect balance between quiet intensity and engaging vulnerability, but as an artist who is only just tapping into the depths of his unexplored potential. With a spotlight cast upon the wealth of industry talent currently emerging from New Zealand, it’s surely only a matter of time before Thomas Stoneman finds himself joining the ranks of Broods, Kimbra and Lorde on the path to international success.
Stream Argonaut via Soundcloud below and download the collection from iTunes now via this link right here.
[Photography via Josh Griggs]