“Electronic and acoustic thoughts merge and co-exist beautifully … in the middle of it all sits Barton, putting his poetry in motion with beautifully clear-headed vocals.”
– Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz
“Barton’s mastery and marrying of so many genres really is a gift to behold”
– Lucy Rash, AMNPlify
Tom Barton is an adventurous contemporary vocalist, composer and performer based in Melbourne, Australia. His music has been likened to Björk, Jeff Buckley, Thom Yorke and Theo Bleckmann.
Tom’s work features live vocal looping, electronic processing, improvisation, lyrics and extended vocal techniques. It is acclaimed for diverse stylistic elements, strong vocal performances, and the blurring of acoustic and electronic boundaries. His music is unique, philosophical and moving.
A graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts, Tom has performed and recorded with artists including Barney McAll, Gian Slater and Invenio, Xani Kolac, Stephen Magnusson, Diego Villalta, Nicolas Sávva, The RAAH Project, Claire Cross, Kate Neal, David Shea, Byron Scullin, Tamil Rogeon and Andrew Byrne.
Tom has performed at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival, The Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Recital Centre, Wangaratta Festival of Jazz, Live on ABC Radio National’s The Music Show, and he has toured Australia and Japan.
Tom released his debut independent album ‘Aspirations’ in 2014 to critical acclaim, with The Weekend Australian 4.5-star review heralding it as “a breakthrough in leading-edge jazz vocals” and “the arrival of a unique new talent”. The album was shortlisted in 2015 for the Jazz Bell Awards “Best Australian Jazz Vocal Album”.
In 2016, Tom collaborated with guitarist Diego Villalta to release improvised album ‘Connections’, recorded in Osaka, Japan. All About Jazz hailed the music as “a greater constancy to jazz’s restless spirit than any number of aspirational takes on the ‘Great American Songbook’”.
In February 2018 Tom previewed a suite of new compositions at his sold-out Melbourne Recital Centre show titled ‘Reflections’. In 2020, Tom independently released the first single of this suite, ‘Wherever I Will Be’. In a 4-star review, All About Jazz lauded the daring piece as “a spellbinding work that owes no allegiance to any single camp and needs no contrast or company to gain notice.”
Tom has previously been funded by The Australia Council for the Arts to undertake intensive professional development with pioneering vocalist and composer Theo Bleckmann in New York City, expanding Tom’s practice and advanced study of the voice and composition.
Tom continues to study with Jeannette LoVetri, New York-based leading contemporary voice pedagogue and creator of ground-breaking voice training Somatic Voicework™. Tom is now certified in all three levels of this methodology and it continues to inform his vocal innovation.
Tom is currently developing concepts for a new solo vocal-looping soundscape that evolved out of his livestreaming during the lockdowns of 2020 & 2021.