Tom Misch is a U.K.-based beatmaker well known among fans for his prowess behind the boards. But in 2018, the 22-year-old stalwart doing his best to show off the many facets of his artistry. That includes pushing his sound, booking U.S. tour dates and releasing an adventurous music video in which he does his own aquatic stunts.
For "Water Baby," Misch, rapper Loyle Carner and a few double-jointed dancers show off the beauty and hostility of nature in the wintry wild. At one point in the Georgia Hudson-directed clip, Misch floats just under the ice sheets of a frozen lake. The image is concerning, but beautiful; there is a serenity in Misch's body language as he sings.
"I'm a keen swimmer and love surfing, so that kind of inspired the song," Misch tells NPR. "Me and Loyle chatted about ideas for the video and he mentioned he had been talking to Georgia, who had directed some of his previous videos, about a concept they had in mind involving a lake and a dancer. The three of us got on a call to talk through the idea and it all came together. It was a tough one to shoot, but was all worthwhile."
The song structure of "Water Baby," though unorthodox, flows effortlessly as well. The first verse on the track goes to Carner, a frequent collaborator of Misch's, who delivers a poignant 18 bars about being his family's backbone. Then, against jazzy, horn-heavy production, the vocalist and producer sings of swimming through all-too-relatable struggles: from loneliness and coffee scalds to missed chances and missed Ubers.
"Water Baby" follows up Misch's late 2017 single "Movie." Both tracks will appear on the artist's forthcoming debut album Geography, which he plans to release just in time for warmer temps and his Coachella debut.
Geography comes out April 6 via Beyond The Groove.