Tom Tikka Delivers A Superb Fairytale On “With Eyes Closed”

Tom Tikka & The Missing Hubcaps is a fascinating title for a band, one that instantly catches hooks your attention and gets you asking what their deal is. So when we saw the band had a new song out, we knew we had to give it a closer look.

Just like with their name, I was surprised and instantly hooked the very second I listened to the song, thanks to the interesting choice of instrumentation here. Eschewing the usual guitars and pianos, “With Eyes Closed” starts out with an assortment of strings! It’s such a unique way to begin a song, and I’m enthralled that this carries over to the rest of the song.

Indeed, the whole song is based around the use of strings, with only sparse amounts of synths, guitar and percussion occasionally thrown into the mix. We love the sheer grandeur that they give off, and they’re used to great effect building up the atmosphere song to it’s soaring climax. It’s such an inspired direction to take a single in, and one that I enjoy and respect greatly.

What strikes me next is the excellent flow of the song in general. From its beginning to its end, “With Eyes Closed” just flows beautifully from act to act, the way a lot of classical music does. Rich arrangements and changes in its musical lend to the music, making for a powerful track all around.

It’s all superb stuff overall, and this carries over to the songwriting and delivery as well. While the lyrics are written from someone’s perspective, there’s a fantastical narrative aspect to it that stands out. Add to this some wonderful flourishes and flowery language mixed in, and it almost feels like a fairy tale play being acted out.

This review would also not be complete without a nod to Tom Tikka’s absolutely excellent vocal performance. He completely sells the illusion of grandeur and that fantastical aspect of the song effortlessly. It’s a difficult thing to nail in music and when done wrong can come off as cheesy and silly, but there’s none of that here. Just pure skill and finesse, leaving us honestly impressed.

“With Eyes Closed” gets a hearty recommendation from this reviewer. It’s such a different single from what I usually review, and it stands out in the best way. Tom Tikka & The Missing Hubcaps leave a strong impression with this one, and we hope to have more surprises for us in the future!

–Jason Airy