Jeremy Williams-Chalmers, Arts Correspondent

Tom Aspaul - Black Country Disco

Tom Aspaul is far from a newcomer to the music industry. The architecture graduate with a Masters in Design from Central Saint Martins College of Art has been a notable presence on the music scene for much of the decade. Having penned songs for Kylie, AlunaGeorge, Celeste and MutyaKeishaSiobhan, he has steadily been building up a reputation as a soloist since his 2013 debut single Indiana. Some seven years later, after the release of a mix of singles and EPs, he finally arrives at the release of his debut album, Black Country Disco.

Hailing from Wolverhampton, the former Londoner is no stranger to how radio works. Having presented his own show on FUBAR radio intermittently over the last few years, it is clear that he knows what a radio friendly sound is. Black Country Disco delivers that radio bites throughout its 10 songs.

Yet this is an album that is far from being just radio fodder. While there is no doubt an understanding of pop sounds and how to mould them for radio play, Black Country Disco is as far from generic as possible. Aspaul boasts a distinctive vocal, which he marries with retro vibes and futuristic sounds to craft something wonderfully magical.

From the lilting Dead Already (Save Yourself) through to the timeless bop W.M., Black Country Disco delivers diverse addictive soundscapes. While there is no denying that the singles Close To Me and 01902 are clear album highlights, there is not a weak moment within the walls of this hooky set.