Tom Proctor & The A-Listers Release “In Hollywood”


Raucous drums come roaring into focus as we enter “In Hollywood,” the new single from critically acclaimed singer/songwriter Tom Proctor, whom many indie country neophytes might sooner recognize from his equally-lauded career in cinema. The party is just getting started as the percussion finds itself joined by a hot, swinging guitar part that is begging for us to get onto the dancefloor and embrace the mighty melodies it’s dispensing with ease. Right in the middle of all the action is Tom Proctor himself, belting out a smoky vocal dead center in the spotlight, where he’s been proven to be at his most comfortable and relaxed time and time again. His command of the microphone is reminiscent of a Nashville sound that reigned supreme in the 20th century and has slowly but surely been watered down to create an oft-misunderstood brand of alternative music that has more in common with folk than it ever will traditional country. Proctor may well be a crooning cowboy from a different time and place in history, but his music is exactly what his genre needs right now to reconnect with its roots and shed the inauthentic commercial varnish that has plagued it for nearly a quarter century.


There’s an undeniably classic vibe within almost every element of “In Hollywood,” but the mix is definitely a contemporary one faceted with a high definition physicality that reaches right through the speakers and kicks us in the butt the second The A-Listers start to play. The lyrics and music are equally evocative as a result of the beefy equalization; the gilded strum of the guitar vibrates and harmonizes with the bluster in the bass elegantly, and while the drums are raw and visceral from the get-go, they’re tempered evenly under the weight of the string arrangement, which is one of the more sophisticated that I’ve personally heard from Proctor thus far in his recording career. For all of the roles he’s played on screen, I think that he wears this persona best of all – the conventional singer/songwriter with an ambitious, uninhibited desire to break out of the box using the tried tools of his forerunners exclusively.

“In Hollywood” is a stunner of a single from an undisputed country mastermind in Tom Proctor, who demonstrates just how genuine his depth of artistry really is in this song and refutes the very notion of a stage performer being tethered to but one medium alone. He transcends the limitations of the studio here, rolling out of the darkness and into our hearts on the whim of a sly vocal and emotive lyrics that hit close to home for anyone who has found themselves intoxicated by the bright lights of Los Angeles. I really hope that Proctor continues to develop this sound even more as time goes by and that he doesn’t end up putting this aspect of his life on the backburner anytime soon. He’s got an incredible skillset and a natural born talent to make it worthwhile, and personally I think that would be utterly criminal to waste.


Gwen Waggoner

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