Back in 2005, Tom Vek broke out with an excellent debut of glitchy dance-pop titled We Have Sound, which suggested the British singer-producer had a bright future in front of him. But after a run of well-received shows, Vek completely disappeared, and inspired his devoted fans to form a Facebook group titled “The Tom Vek Detective Agency,” which posted clues and rumors of his whereabouts.
Now comes official word that Vek is still around: the singer will return on June 7 with new album titled Leisure Seizure on Juny 7, along with its first single “A Chore.”SPIN has a premiere of Vek’s “re-edit” of the track, which he says was inspired by the edgy French dance label Ed Banger (home to Justice and DJ Mehdi). Plus, check out the video for the track below.
LISTEN: Tom Vek, “A Chore (Tom Vek RE-EDIT)”
As for Vek himself, where did he go? Truth is, he was literally hiding in plain sight, living and recording in London. “I spent three years trying to find a studio space and I got a bit obsessed with that, to be honest,” Vek says over the phone from his London home. “But all this time, I was working on tracks. They weren’t made in the kind of loving environment that I needed to do my music. To keep stuff a bit rough around the edges and stuff, you need to be in an environment that’s conducive to that.”
When he finally found a spot in Northeast London in 2009, he began to write and record what would become Leisure Seizure, in the same solitary manner by which he made his debut — and he’d stashed enough dough from that first album cycle to support himself financially.
And while his mates would occasionally share anecdotes with music fans pondering his whereabouts, Vek resisted the temptation to speak up. “I had to come back with the album and the music as opposed to being like, ‘Oh, I’m still working on something,'” he explains, adding that he likes the mystique afforded to artists in the ’90s, pre-Facebook and Twitter. “I was always fascinated by how mysterious these people would seem — there was no way of getting in contact with them. You were just into the music.”
The album’s title is emblematic of how Vek felt, as a whole, about this five-year journey. “There was this quandary of having certain days where I was feeling unfulfilled, yet on paper, everything was great,” he says. “I had a record deal and there was a label waiting for an album… It’s a phrase I might use to diagnose some frustration, when something comes out of an environment that it completely shouldn’t.”
Look for Vek to hit U.S. shores for some live dates in late-summer when Leisure Seizure is released on CD and vinyl — the June 7 release date is digital only.