Tom Tikka And The Missing Hubcaps – “By 2022”

 Tom Tikka And The Missing Hubcaps – “By 2022”

Tom Tikka And The Missing Hubcaps – “By 2022” – Single Review

While I’m starting to suspect that Tom Tikka And The Missing Hubcaps is always gonna make life easy on a critic like myself as a listener, I can definitely tell ya that what I wasn’t expecting to start this review off with today as a writer, was to end up making a quick comment on how much the dude’s GRANDMA rules.  That’s no joke…I’m not even remotely kidding – I look at life in a weird way perhaps, but I suppose to me, with all the information that gets passed on & passed down to us, it’s only natural that about 99% of it all goes straight into the void over time.  Yet some pieces of advice…some of that wisdom that gets passed on, sticks with us forever, and becomes a part of who we are…guiding us forward to who we’re meant to be.  Tom Tikka’s grandma once said “if you want a miracle, work hard at producing one” – and I couldn’t agree more with this fine lady…to me, that’s about the best piece of advice anyone could ever be given.

There’s resoundingly grounded realism in that statement…inspiring and empowering stuff too if you ask me – and for what it’s worth, I think she’s 100% completely & totally right.  Still – with that being said, I don’t just completely ignore the dreamer in me either – and from what I can tell about this new single “By 2022,” neither does Tom.  We might side with the realistic perspective when push comes to shove I’m sure, but that doesn’t mean a hard worker doesn’t still get the opportunity to dream and perhaps even want for something else, other than what IS.  Maybe better tomorrows…maybe a reboot of LIFE itself…maybe just the comfort of a friend you haven’t seen for years, a new house, a different career – our list of wants, desires, and dreams could and SHOULD be endless – all Tom’s grandma & I are sayin’ is keep your eye on the prize & know that if you’re going to get to those goals, it’s up to YOU to get there.

“By 2022” is essentially a love song written to what could be…hope for the future, possibility…change.  And who could blame the man for feeling this way?  Let’s be real here – 2021 was a shitshow mess, and the year before was arguably even worse…”By 2022” is a song that looks forward to what life might be like in the aftermath of it all…and stays down to earth in its assessment.  It’s not so much of a song that’s looking forward to the bright-side necessarily, so much as it’s purely yearning for something that’s different than what IS – you following me?  So when you get to that line of “I don’t mind if things will change,” it instantly connects with each and every one of us listening…because that is exactly how just about every one of us is feeling around the entire globe right now.  Relatable?  You bet.  I’ll dream with ya Tom Tikka And The Missing Hubcaps…”By 2022” I hope I find myself in a whole different gear than I’ve been in throughout the past five…I appreciate the hopeful spirit this song comes with, weary and nearly broken as it may be…you hit those hooks, and it’s got such an uplifting & inspired thread to the melody that it can’t seem to help but bring a lil’ spark to your soul.  Lyrically, Tom spends a lot of time in the present, examining the pain of what IS…but at the core of it all, “By 2022” is a song about breaking away from what IS and discovering what could be; he might be down right now, be he’s far from out.  This next year ahead could be the one for any single one of us…our only limitations are the ones we impose on ourselves, and the potential & possibility of turning your dreams into reality EXISTS, daily.  So cheers to 2022 y’all…whatever it is you’re out there doing, let’s all do it better than we have in 2020/21.

Sound-wise…man-oh-man…like I told ya straight off the drop, Tom Tikka And The Missing Hubcaps makes it extremely easy on a guy like me to comment on the quality & writing & music & vocals…you get the point – what’s not to love here?  From the moment it begins, you get this “Every Breath You Take” Police-like smooth rumble & roll into the rhythm…brilliant low-key, understated melodies in the verses that would remind you of the artistic side of The Editors’ sound…and a brightness & vibrant bounce to “By 2022” in both the music & vocal hooks that would draw comparisons to something like the pepped up cuts coming from The Temper Trap.  All-in-all, there’s just every reason to support & listen to a song like this from concept to execution – the vocals come out stellar, the bass-lines are stunning, and the details in the mix surrounding it all from the crisp beat to the backing vocals in the atmosphere, all seriously stack up to a clear victory here.  Combined with the inherent shroud of emotional confusion expressed within the lyricism, the contrast between the upbeat vibes and the depth of the words makes for an experience that’s as compelling as it is entertaining, as thought-provoking as it is worth turning UP.  If anything, I might be slightly more addicted to the verses than I am to the chorus, but we’d be splitting the finest of hairs if we’re getting that critical…I ain’t complaining about anything I’m hearing on “By 2022” – it’s rare to find a single-worthy song that contains as much thought & depth as this cut has.  Truly though…if we’re talking about appealing & accessible sound, I’d be shocked if ANY of you made it even further than five seconds into “By 2022” without wanting to turn it UP & stick it out to the end – it hits ya that quickly, and that in itself is no small accomplishment.  Heck, you might even say that’s exactly what you want in a single to create that gateway into the rest of your music!  Tom Tikka And The Missing Hubcaps have had a stellar year in that regard incidentally…a handful of singles, an EP, the recent release of the debut full-length album This Is My Happy Face…after all that’s been achieved & all there is to be proud of, it’s gotta feel real good to put the cherry on top with a quality single like this right at the very end of 2021, and “By 2022” he should be surging right into his prime if he keeps this up.

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