Rising Stars [Issue
Gloom Amidst Sunshine By
Just Like Blood
England, I thought that anywhere the sun shone would be heaven for me,
says Tom McRae. But it turned into my own personal hell. Sunshine
wasnt good inspiration for McRaes darkly philosophical songs. I
threw curtains over the windows, pulled a duvet over my head, struck a match,
and lit a candle.
McRae may be into doom and gloom but his career prospects are bright
right now, with the release of his second album, Just Like Blood,
on Nettwerk Records. Already known in Europe, McRae has been building
acclaim Stateside via frequent airplay on KCRWs Morning
Becomes Eclectic and appearances at Los Angeles Hotel
Café. Hell be touring in support of Just Like Blood
over the next few months, after which hell return to LA to
mix a recently recorded third album.
A former student of politics, McRae dabbled in various bands until
he realized it would be better to go solo (The only person
that was willing to work with me was me!). Things happened
quickly for him after that, with his first, self-titled album making
its debut in 2001. Unfortunately, the release date was September
11, which marred the albums chances of making an impact in
The first single from that album was called The End
of the World News, notes McRae. So as you can
imagine, a lot of people werent going to play that song. But
theres more important things in life than your album breaking
While he enjoyed success in Britain and on the Continent, McRae
did not give up on conquering America. He played small club gigs
and appeared on late-night TV shows. But airplay on KCRW gave him
his biggest boost.
I owe him my first-born! McRae says of KCRW DJ Nic Harcourt.
Its strange - you hope that your music connects with
people but rarely does it connect with someone whos in a position
to do something to help you. With his reputation growing,
McRae was able to get Just Like Blood released in the US,
after it had been held up by record company infighting.
What about the albums frequent use of blood and water as images?
Im interested in imagery, says McRae. The
most important liquids coursing through the body are blood and water.
Blood has come to represent my passions, my family, my anger - everything.
It seemed appropriate for the title.
Just Like Blood