SONG PREMIERE: Tom Mackell Addresses Our Distressed Moment with Heartfelt Americana Single “Strange Times”

Tom Mackell is a Charleston, South Carolina-based singer-songwriter whose honest and soulful mix of Americana, pop, and rock creates a melodic, smooth sound that’s effortlessly organic. Originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mackell honed his skills performing at bars and restaurants. He performed back and forth between Philadelphia and Charleston before moving to Nashville in 2015. Diving headfirst into music city, he landed a job at a talent agency while also writing and recording in his free time. He then went on to release five singles from 2016-2018, followed by a five-track EP in 2019. 

With years of touring under his belt, Mackell has performed with artists such as Ryan Montbleau, Sister Hazel, Tony Lucca, Charlie Mars, SUSTO, and more. From living and touring up and down the east coast, Tom has attracted a wide range of listeners.

Currently, Tom has a catalog of new music on the horizon. Today Glide is excited to premiere Tom’s new single “Strange Times,” which was written during quarantine and is definitely reflective of our current moment. The track is due out November 13th (PRE-ORDER). Beginning a shimmering, hopeful burst of guitar, you immediately get pulled into the song’s catchy hook. Mackell chimes in with his richly visual vocals that speak directly to these times when we are dealing with a pandemic, a psycho wannabe dictator president, injustice everywhere. With his heartfelt Americana sound, Mackell ponders all of these realities and tries to be optimistic about what the future may hold. The song brings to mind the the 90s college rock of other fellow South Carolinians, and one can imagine it being a hit in that era. At the same time, there is also a laid back 70s folk rock vibe to the song. 

Listen to the song and read our interview with Tom below…

What is the story behind this song? Why did you write it?

I wrote “Strange Times” while considering all of the sudden changes in my everyday life during quarantine. It’s an honest and sincere expression of how I was feeling and dealing with this new reality.

What kind of a vibe were you going for on this song when you recorded it? Do you think you ended up with a song that sounds like you expected it to sound? If so, how so, and if not, what’s different about it?

When it comes to recording, I always take a live approach to the tracking process. Singing with my full band helps us bring the energy of the song to life in the studio. I want to stay true to the song and let the instrumentation complement the emotion of the lyrics. When I go into the studio with new songs, I’m usually showing them to my band and producer for the first time. The guys I work with are amazing at what they do, and I’ve worked with them for many years. I trust these people with my songs, and the connection that we have is special. I never go into a recording session with my head set on anything. When ideas are bounced around and flow naturally, that’s when I know a song is meant to be.

You have a sound that is so organic and natural. Who are your biggest music inspirations?

Thanks, I appreciate that. I try to keep it that way. My biggest inspirations are Jackson Browne, Ryan Bingham, James Taylor, SUSTO, John Mayer, and many more. For me, the best kind of music has raw qualities that are undeniably and effortlessly organic.

How has the pandemic changed your music and/or your songwriting?

The pandemic has given me a new perspective on life and my career as a recording artist. It emphasized the importance of not taking anything for granted. More than ever before, the circumstances allowed me ample time to be alone with my songs and thoughts. My music didn’t necessarily change during the pandemic, but I was able to view my creative process through a new lens.

What is next for Tom Mackell?

I will continue to work as hard as I possibly can during these still-changing times. I have a lot of new music in my repertoire that I’m extremely excited to share in the coming months. All I can do at this moment in time is put my head down and keep on pushing.

For information and updates, stay tuned to and follow him on Instagram @tommackell, Twitter @tommackell, and on Facebook at

Photo credit: Dylan Dawkins

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