TOMI — the project of songwriter and producer Pam Autuori — emerges from her debut album, Late Bloomer, triumphantly waving her soul-riveting Americana. She will also be heading out on tour next month to support Crane Wives, including two nights at the Constellation Room in Santa Ana on Wednesday, November 1st, and Thursday, November 2nd, followed by a show at The Venice West on November 4th.
Driven by a stirring desire to memorialize her journey out of adolescence and into adulthood, TOMI’s debut album appropriately takes its name from an offhand comment made by a choreographer while on the set of her first major label music video. At that moment, she discovered a hidden insecurity that had been living inside her since she first started pursuing a life making music.
Prior to this moment, she’d spent her teenage years cutting her teeth in Brooklyn — playing the “shittiest bars you can imagine.” In the aftermath, she endured the hustling of disingenuous music producers who cared little about her actual development as an artist and human being. Late Bloomer reckons with the turbulent path that’s led TOMI to this moment — an anthemic ode to its thrilling highs and terrifying lows.
Every track on the album finds TOMI kindling her spirit toward a rousing heft of emotion. Be it on songs like “Nun” and “Open Road,” grasping earnestly for elusive freedom, voicing with ecstatic soul a wearied disenchantment with what is in favor of what might be. Guided by a thunderously resounding arsenal of guitars and her rapt vocal vaults, she threads the needle between Americana that is both fiercely confessional and inspiringly cathartic.
From the slow-burning rollick that resonates on “More Time” — her layered cries soaring gloriously in the background — to the punchy fanfare that spills from “There I Go.” The latter also happens to feature one of the album’s more exhilarating features: a blistering saxophone that rips across its soundscape like lightning. That same invigorating sax adorns the swirling pop melodics of “Broad Strokes” alongside a shimmer of synths and further examples of TOMI’s stunningly enchanting wails.
Other standouts on the record include “Psycho Love” and “Skin + Bones + Chemicals.” Though every new listen of Late Bloomer will leave you with a new favorite song each time — and it’s a staggering debut from an artist who has only just begun to enthrall us.
See TOMI when they perform two nights at the Constellation Room in Santa Ana on Wednesday, November 1st, and Thursday, November 2nd. As well as at The Venice West on November 4th.
Words: Steven Ward
11/1 Constellation Room Santa Ana, CA, US
11/2 Constellation Room Santa Ana, CA **
11/3 Voodoo Room, House of Blues San Diego, CA **
11/4 The Venice West Venice, CA **
11/5 Bottom of the Hill San Francisco, CA, US **
11/7 Felton Music Hall Felton, CA **
11/8 Goldfield Trading Post Sacramento, CA **
11/9 Volcanic Theatre Pub Bend, OR **
11/11 Star Theater Portland, OR **
11/12 The Vera Project Seattle, WA **
** w/ Crane Wives
Listen to Late Bloomer the new album from TOMI below!