“Hagerman gives fans a more traditional album with Idle Creatures, an instrumental effort that mixes chamber-pop string arrangements with that eclectic-influence globetrotter’s aesthetic for which Hagerman’s full-time band is so well known.” - The Onion A/V Club
Tom Hagerman is best known for his multi-instrumentalist role in the genre-defying band DeVotchKa, and for performing on recordings by M Ward, Crooked Fingers, She and Him, Micah P. Hinson, Bettye Lavette, Mercury Rev, Amos Lee and Sage Francis, among others. In the world of film, Tom provided score contributions both with DeVotchKa in “Little Miss Sunshine” and more recently on Calexico’s score for “The Guard” and Zooey Deschanel’s songs in “Winnie the Pooh.”
December 6th sees the release of his sophomore solo album, “Idle Creatures” (Cicero Recordings, 2011). It is a record filled with music that is equally joyful, despairing, precious, and absurd. The album features something of a piecemeal indie chamber orchestra, which also includes an appearance by Austin’s Tosca String Quartet. It was recorded at various studios and homes in Colorado and Texas and mixed in Portland, Oregon in-between writing, recording, and touring with DeVotchKa.
Tom started playing music at age 7. He stumbled his way through his teenage years playing in various public school orchestras and regional youth symphonies before winding up in Boulder to study violin at the University of Colorado. During his time at the University, he found himself playing bass guitar in a goth band while landing himself a 10 week summer stint in an orchestra at the decidedly un-goth Disney World in Florida. “I can vividly recall playing in the orchestra accompanying Toni Tennille on her hit song “Love Will Keep us Together” all the while hearing Joy Division’s “Love will Tear Us Apart” in my head.” Excluding a year as a bike messenger in New York City, Tom Hagerman has been a member of DeVotchKa since 1997 and also a member of the currently slumbering seminal Denver band, the Denver.
In addition to “Idle Creatures,” Tom has completed an original score to the documentary film “Where Have all the Mermaids Gone?” about commercial fishermen in Montauk, New York. Selections from the score will be released as “Water Music”, a full length album of ambient string noises, electronics, shoegazer guitars, and folk elements mixed with Tom’s signature strings. It was recorded in the dead of winter in an unheated garage in Denver, CO. “Water Music” will be released concurrently with “Idle Creatures,” although they are vastly different albums.
Tom is currently scoring charts for the upcoming DeVotchKa performance with the Colorado Symphony in February.