Announced earlier this month with a series of animated video shorts featuring strange, alien-like beings making their way across Brutalist landscapes, secret messages and a coded language set to ethereal vocals warped beyond recognition, Fast Trains, the solo recording project of Portsmouth, UK-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Tom Wells can actually trace its origins back to two years ago. “I started writing the songs for Fast Trains just over two years ago. At that point, I was in a different band, and these songs just didn’t fit with what we were doing at the time,” Wells explains in press notes. “I loved the songs though and they’re deeply personal, so I couldn’t give up on them. Then at the start of 2018, I met Sam [Brandon] and everything snowballed. We hatched a crazy scheme to create an entire world based around these songs, with its own landscape, characters, even its own language. This led to ‘Measure by Measure.'”
Referred to as ourWorld, this “virtual world” runs through everything within the Fast Trains universe, from cryptic social media posts to hidden messages deep within the music itself. And all of this is done with a DIY ethos and spirit with Wells playing almost every instrument and producing the music — with Brandon creating the animation himself, drawing everything frame-by-frame. This ensures that the project and its creative partners are as independent as humanly possible. As for the single, “Measure by Measure” is a breezy and infectious Death Cab for Cutie-like pop song centered around a shimmering and looped guitar line, wobbling and propulsive synths, twinkling keys and Wells’ ethereal vocals. But interesting, the song manages to be simultaneously radio friendly accessibility and adventurously forward-thinking.
The recently released video is a jaw-dropping visual delight and an awesome introduction to the entire world of Fast Trains — and with repeated views, there’s something that will capture your eyes.