I brought it to my attention today (since there’s no one else out there to do it) that I haven’t been writing about music enough. Well, that’s because I haven’t been listening to very substantial amounts of new music. New singles from people I’ve never heard before every now and then, but not full albums.
However, I have been doing some YouTube touring, and call it cheesy… but I found something worth reviewing:
A channel belonging to Tom Felton (who plays Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies, of course). It’s titled “FeltBeats” for his band, or just his production name, or something like that. He only has 4 videos, but he has an EP that is available on Amazon. And get this… he’s actually quite amazing. Not just saying that because he’s the most well-dressed character in the latest “Harry Potter.” He’s actually quite a good singer, as well as an adequate guitar player (not that I know how to judge guitar playing, but); I thought his playing accompanied his voice and lyrics very nicely. His words were heartfelt and charming; from the 4 songs on YouTube, I didn’t think they were particularly clever, but for debut work? It’s something special.
It’s even more fantastic that he’s seriously considering pursuing a career in/an education in music. It’s not hard to tell that he could easily have a following and new life as a musician, and I think he would also have a good presence as a performer and entertainer. He definitely has the acting background for it, and he has shown comfortability with a camera and in front of audiences, on YouTube and in press conferences and the like.
In case you haven’t checked out the link of Felton performing yet, I’ll debrief you:
The videos begin like many amateurs’ do; you see someone’s arm retreating from the webcam button. The first thing I noticed was the sepia coloring, which I think is a unique touch. Then, the scene [probably Felton’s bedroom (ooh)] is revealed, and we see he’s lucky enough to actually have some pretty good equipment… microphones, a couple guitars in the background in addition to the one in his hands… He wears his signature polo or striped shirt/sweatshirt and a smile.
Yes, the sound and picture are a little mismatched in a couple of the videos, but one hardly notices because Felton’s confident-yet-bashful grin would tell anyone that he just.doesn’t.care. He knows when he makes mistakes, but he doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s a testament to his character that he puts these videos up, daring fans to disown him for a few chord errors or the times he almost forgets to sing. Of course, his fans would never do such a thing. If anything, they grow more and more in love with Tom with each amused “oops” smile on his lips.
“If you could be anywhere” would definitely be his single, if he ever released one. he has edited the video and overdubbed himself, so he’s strumming in one layer, picking in one layer, and singing melody in a couple layers (I don’t think he harmonizes with himself). Toward the end, he even adds in a harmonica riff, which he plays passionately well. If I had any misgivings, it would be that this song (or the portion in the YouTube video) is extremely short.
As he fingerpicks his way through the feel-good melodies on all these songs, we think, “Draco who?” The nasty Potter arch-rival is nowhere to be seen–there’s not even much angst in the lyrics, just clear-headed optimism.
Actually, the Feltbeats videos are rather difficult to critique. If it seemed like he were putting himself out there for a reason, as if saying “look, I can do more than act in family movies,” then we might be able to tell whether he was doing a good job. When Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) did “Equus,” the play in London, he explicitly told the media something like, “I want people to know that I can act in different genres, and that I have a future as a different kind of actor.” Admittedly, Radcliffe got excellent reviews for “Equus” (maybe partially just because everyone who went saw him naked, so he may have been mainly praised for sheer confidence in himself… which also goes a long way, but I digress…), but he set out to prove something.
Nowhere have I read anything from Tom Felton that implied that he was making music for any reason other than his own pure enjoyment. And no one can be faulted for that.
If I could be anywhere, I would be on the Feltbeats YouTube channel. : )
[@feltbeats and @TomFelton are both excellent follows on Twitter; look them up!]