• emily marshman

FFO: english singer-songwriter ethan barnett, aka ten tonnes


Ten Tonnes is the stage name of Ethan Barnett, 23-year-old singer-songwriter from Hertford, England. His eponymous debut album was released in May of last year, after nearly three years of teasing the world with singles ("Lucy" was first released in 2016). Barnett's songs are all enormously catchy and indisputably fantastic. They rely heavily on his penchant for relatable, love-laden lyrics and poppy, peppy beats, but it's a good kind of reliance. Like being asthmatic and needing your inhaler. It helps you conquer the world. He isn't a rock band like we're used to featuring, but comfort zones are overrated, and his talent is so undeniable I needed to share him with the world.


And talent runs in Barnett's family - if you've been wondering since you pressed play on that playlist where you've heard his voice before (or started scrolling through his Instagram and realize you recognize his face), let me be the one to let you know he's George Ezra's (of "Budapest" fame) little brother. This crooner's voice is definitely different from his brother's, but the silky-smooth similarities are there. He's making a name for himself, and unless you know both of their faces very well (or someone else has spoiled it for you, like I have) you'd hardly even think he has family in the business.


Ten Tonnes is one of the most fantastic debut pop albums I've ever listened to, and 2019 was such an incredible year of debuts that you know I'm being sincere. Some of my favorites from the album are "Better Than Me" - which, seriously, how has this not had any radio play? - and "Look What You Started" - I genuinely cannot get enough of that quick, low guitar keeping time layered underneath everything else. Knowing that half of this record was crafted solely by Barnett and on the other half he collaborated with such talent as Nick Hodgson of Kaiser Chiefs and Longpigs' Crispin Hunt makes the album that much more impressive; that they managed to make these two sides indistinguishable from one another, every song seamlessly transitioning into another that's so distinctly Ten Tonnes.


It's odd to feature an artist on a come-down from a high as sincerely tall as the release of their debut album, so I'm sad to say I've nothing to report in the way of new singles or tour dates - although he has said he's in the studio writing - but if I've done a good enough job convincing you to listen to his music, you can keep up with Ten Tonnes by following Ethan on his Twitter and Instagram.

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