Billy Nomates, or Tor Maries to her actual mates, is a boyish and brave one-woman force of post-punk modernism. With her trademark deadpan vocal style and a bold, direct attitude, her new self titled album will snatch your attention right off the bat.
Tor Maries is no stranger to the music business, having been in several bands over many years before finding her recent success as Billy Nomates. Reflecting on her previous musical endeavours, Billy recalls many of her fellow musicians having to eventually concede to the painfully cold reality of “giving up and getting a mortgage” – an uncomfortably familiar story we’ve heard all too often. Thankfully, it was after one crucial gig that Maries found determination for one more stab.
Billy’s first single, appropriately titled ‘No’ is a testament to the power she has discovered that word has. Explaining that it was only when she started saying ‘no’ to people that things began to happen in her life, she’s found that the word has a certain power to ‘open doors’.
Maries’ lyrics focus heavily around themes such as the UK’s class structure, money, hardship, sexual and personal issues. And as someone who to say the least has had the ‘real deal’ when it comes to struggling to get by, you can tell that Maries’ lyrics around such themes come from a genuine place.
For what feels like a long time overdue, a post-punk artist has emerged with some real grit between her teeth. Just like the Joy Divisions, Happy Mondays and The Clash of generations past, the best post-punk music has always come from a place of hardship, and Tor Maries possesses all the right qualities and some good old-fashioned attitude.
Following three exceptional singles at the start of the year, Billy released her self titled debut album in August to much acclaim from the media. As for our opinion, everything which was seemingly promised in Billy’s earlier singles has surly been delivered upon. A blend of punk and electronic, inspired by some of her favourite artists but with an added touch of her own, Billy Nomates has undoubtedly crafted a truly addictive sound.
One song from the album ‘Supermarket Sweep’ features Jason Williamson of the electronic duo Sleaford Mods as a guest vocalist. This band of a similar vein has been highly influential in Billy’s career since very early on. From serving as first inspiration for her sound and giving her the confidence to pursue a new line of music, to having Billy support them at their online gigs this year, the duo has been helping bring Billy’s music, quite rightly, into the spotlight this year.
Now I know what you’re wondering – how does an artist end up with such a demeaning name as ‘Billy Nomates’? The comment was infact thrown at her by a common heckler at a Sleaford Mods gig no less. The man’s remark to Maries being on her own at the gig gave inspiration for the name. Maries admits it’s a moment she’ll ‘never forget’. Later on, and the man from the gig, and all the blokes of the world with too much to say, were immortalised in Billy’s song ‘Fat White Man.’
With this only the start of the Billy Nomates journey and with the stage already set for more great tunes, we can’t wait to see what’s next for this free-speaking voice and her fantastic sound.