Pablo Sessions: Tom Angst-Inferiority Complex

One time it actually worked. A friend asked me about some of my favorite new South Carolina bands, I mentioned Tom Angst and they replied “Tom Hanks? There’s really a band named Tom Hanks?”. I laughed and told them that’s the play on it.

Since we released our first Pablo Session featuring their song “I’m Probably Overthinking It” a couple of months ago they’ve released their debut eponymous EP featuring five songs that open up to difficult topics. Led by Danielle McConaghy, a couple of the Tom Angst songs transferred over from her solo material and then brought to new life by her band, who are also in Quality Time. The closing track “Suicide Sucks” and the album artwork go hand in hand. It’s a tranquil picture, showing McConaghy’s mother lakeside blowing bubbles in front of baby Kaylee and a pink flamingo and flowers in the background.

“It’s a picture of my cousin, Kaylee, and my mom at my great grandmothers lake. Growing up I spent a lot of time there with my cousins getting into shenanigans and whatnot and some of my best memories are there. It was me and my brothers, and then Kaylee, Payton, and Chandler.” says McConaghy. “My song “Suicide Sucks” talks about the passing of Kaylee and Payton and it was just a really rough time because we had kinda drifted apart as we got older. The lake hasn’t been kept up like it used to so it kinda looks like a shell of the one shown in the album cover. I found this picture looking through old photo albums and thought  it was really appropriate because it reminded me of a time when things were a lot simpler and my family was closer. I also just really enjoyed the general aesthetics of the picture and thought it would fit well with the bands image.”

McConaghy’s solo material are beautiful stripped down songs, often just her vocals floating over a gently picked guitar. With the band along they take on a new sound altogether, falling in line with popular indie acts like Frankie Cosmos and Adult Mom. Their new song “Erica” on the Pablo Sampler is reflective of her old style, one that Tom Angst might again incorporate in time.

“It’s about my friend Erica (shocker) because she’s been working in New York for quite a while now and I really miss her. She’s had some run-ins with bad people and I really wish I could be there to support her in person. I want the best for her and wish New York would be more kind. I suppose the reason I decided to keep this song stripped down is because I kinda just miss that. Everything I used to do was strictly acoustic and I wanted to revisit that style for this song. We might eventually incorporate the full band in it but for now I feel like it is as it should be.”

The reception for their latest EP has been exceptional so far, and helps with the boost of the Pablo Generation. Tonight all the bands in the collective perform together at the first Pablopalooza taking place at the new and improved Radio Room in Greenville. To catch a glimpse of most bands playing, watch through our first round of Pablo Sessions.