David Thomas Broughton

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David Thomas Broughton
David Thomas Broughton.jpg
Broughton performing in March 2008.
Background information
Origin Otley, West Yorkshire, England, UK
Genres Folk
Instruments Vocals, Acoustic guitar
Years active 2004–present
Labels Birdwar
Plug Research
Golden Lab
Associated acts 7 Hertz, Chris Casati
Website www.DavidThomasBroughton.co.uk

David Thomas Broughton is a British folk singer and guitarist, based in London. Born in Otley, West Yorkshire, UK, he creates the sound of a large ensemble by sampling himself singing, playing acoustic guitar, and making an assortment of other sounds through a Boss loop pedal. He also uses various non-traditional musical instruments to augment his songs, including radios and televisions, and occasionally incorporates a use of natural field recordings into his music. He is also known for his love of spontaneity and musical improvisation, recording albums in one take (allowing recording faults to remain) and beginning live performances with no clear plan in mind. He has cited Tom Waits and Bill Callahan (Smog) as key early influences.

Two solo albums have been released under his own name, The Complete Guide to Insufficiency (2005) and It's in There Somewhere (2007), as well as the EPs Anchovies and Boating Disasters (2010). In 2007 he collaborated with Leeds chamber music group 7 Hertz to release David Thomas Broughton vs. 7 Hertz, and released a single during the same year with Chris Casati. Outbreeding, his newest album, was released in 2010.[dated info] Most of his releases have been met with great critical acclaim, with publications such as Pitchfork Media and Tiny Mix Tapes rating his work highly, though Broughton has revealed he is largely indifferent towards such praise.

Broughton has toured around the world, including appearances at Barcelona's Primavera and Britain's Green Man festivals. He has recently[when?] begun including seemingly self-conscious, ironic dance moves and off-mic (often off-stage) singing into his live performances.


Although he was bought a guitar by his father, Broughton was never formally trained to play any instrument. The outcome of this background was an outlook that saw "the world [as] a set of musical instruments [with] every inanimate object playing its part." Broughton's debut album, The Complete Guide to Insufficiency, was released in 2005. Recorded in a Leeds church by suggestion of the label, it contains five relatively long compositions that combine previously existing songs and improvisation. This album was followed by a decidedly lo-fi release, 2006's three track EP Anchovies, and then 2007's It's in There Somewhere, a collection of home recordings from the previous six years. 2007 also saw the release of a single with Chris Casati, featuring the songs "The Rage" and "Be My Boy".

His first full-length collaborative work, with Leeds-based chamber music group 7 Hertz, entitled David Thomas Broughton vs. 7 Hertz, was released in October 2007.[1] The album 5 Curses was supposed to be released in April 2008 by Golden Lab, but it has now been delayed indefinitely. However, Outbreeding, his newest album, will be released in 2010.[dated info] "Perfect Louse" from Outbreeding has been previewed on Broughton's official MySpace page. In 2010 he released Boating Disasters, a four track EP containing, among others, newer versions of the songs "Perfect Louse" and "Ain't Got No Sole" from It's in There Somewhere.

Broughton currently remains only a part-time musician, having worked as a conservation officer, a data analyst for an electric company, and currently in customer services for Transport for London.

Style and songwriting[edit]

Both Broughton's recorded and live music is based heavily on spontaneity and improvisation. However, he often has a basic melody or lyric in mind beforehand, building the layers into a full composition that can be dismantled whenever he sees fit; in his own words, this process allows the music to be more organic. Similarly, the length of compositions are dependent on feelings at the time, allowing the loops of the previous song to gradually fade out and bleed into the next song when nothing else is deemed worthy of addition. Aside from his usual combination of an acoustic guitar and loop pedals, field recordings are often used; Broughton puts their usage simply down to his love of nature and the environment.

David Thomas Broughton's voice, although distinctive, has been compared with singers such as Antony Hegarty of Antony and the Johnsons and Devendra Banhart. Broughton, however, insists he had never heard their music before the comparisons were made, seeing the similarities as being the likely result of people growing up with the same records. His lyrics often deal with serious, universal topics such as romance and death, though mirrored with more everyday references; one clear example can be heard on "Weight of My Love" from David Thomas Broughton vs. 7 Hertz, which mentions his inability to afford a pasty from Greggs bakery.



Singles and EPs[edit]

  • Anchovies – 2006 10" EP (Golden Lab Records)
  • Boating Disasters – 2010 EP (Static Caravan Records)



  1. ^ [1] David Thomas Broughton Cuts Mini-Album With 7 Hertz – Pitchfork Media

External links[edit]