Home Read Albums Of The Week: Tom Chaplin | Midpoint

Albums Of The Week: Tom Chaplin | Midpoint

Keane's frontman strips away some of the gloss on his lateest soul-baring set.

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THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Tom Chaplin, frontman for the band Keane, has released his new solo album Midpoint. Produced by Ethan Johns, this emotionally charged collection features 13 new songs sung with beauty and grace.

At 43, Chaplin now finds himself at an equilibrium. Or, in fact, a midpoint. On the title track, Tom’s voice soars, painting a picture of a man who is both bemused and confused with thoughts of his midlife. These feelings are beautifully captured in an evocative film starring Niamh Cusack, directed by Lucy Bridger.

Tom began writing these new songs two years ago when Keane’s 2019 Cause and Effect tour was interrupted by the pandemic. The songs, all founded on reflection and imagination, were recorded in six weeks at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in Bath and Paul Epworth’s The Church in North London.

While the songs share an emotional warmth first exhibited on Tom’s debut 2016 solo album The Wave, sonically this new music is a revelation. “I was like, wow, these are bare compared to what I’m used to,” Tom admits. “And it did find it frightening because with Keane records there’s so much layering to thicken things up and fill up the spaces. But this is a sparse record.”

And all the better for it, letting the language and vocals reach gorgeous new heights. It’s wistful and reflective and totally engaging. Coming as Tom enters midlife, Midpoint is like nothing else. “There’s space for something nuanced that explores a part of life that everyone goes through,” Tom says. “If I can get some of that across and it can resonate with something people are feeling in in their lives — well, I’d be more than happy with that.”