Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Ian Grimble and Richard Matthews of Communion Music at 2KHz, Crouch End, London
Tom Hickox wouldn't even need a ceremony to commit to being together til death do you part. He would agree to such an arrangement very casually, but he would consider it to be a binding agreement - one with serious repercussions if either person were to break the vow. He would want it this way. It should be taken incredibly seriously. It could not be committed to haphazardly or thought of with a grain of salt. He would look you in the eyes, with a piercing stare, your hands held firmly in his and he would tell you that he will always be there for you, through anything and through everything. You needn't worry any longer about being alone or dying alone. He's got you covered.
The British singer-songwriter doesn't fuck about with trivial sentiments. He goes for the gusto, for all of the cascading gravity of what it means to give all of one's self over to another and expect that it means something just as momentous to them. He's hoping that it will be returned, that the feelings will be reprinted and, if they aren't, they will be given back to him in the same shape as he offered them, for this is not a trifle. He will same them up for someone else who's going to give a damn about them and he never spreads these emotions thing.
Love is most definitely war in Hickox songs and it's just as much death as it is life. The people that he plays the roles of here are those who are eternal sufferers, even when it might not be so horrible. He is a singer is the emotional way that Antony Hegarty of Antony & The Johnsons is - overcome with the heaviness of everything. Hickox sings, "I reached for you and found a note/The sheets were cold from what you wrote," when he's been left unexpectedly, adding, "Here come emotions and things you shouldn't hear," giving us an idea that he's not just going to let it go lightly. He never lets anything hit him lightly and it's the beauty of his music - always been high strung and feeling so intensely. He sings, "Let me be the one to shut your eyes when you die/Let me die of heartbreak," on "Let Me Be Your Lover," and that's where he'd always prefer the story to end.