Billy Nomates
Billy Nomates



Tor Maries only embraced self-prioritisation recently. Meaning: she’d spent a life not always putting herself first. The songwriter, who originates from the pork pie capital Melton Mowbray, spent years performing in groups around Bristol – there was some success, but little satisfaction.

It was only when Maries moved to Bournemouth, bought a ticket and flew solo to watch Sleaford Mods in 2019 – in a neat piece of circularity Jason Williamson pops up to rap about meat on ‘Supermarket Sweep’ – Maries decided to go it alone (she owes the moniker to a drunk man calling her “Billy Nomates” at that very show). 

Billy Nomates is therefore what happens when you discard outside perceptions, pause people-pleasing and discover the power of self-expression. That’s why when observers question why Maries sometimes sings with a U.S. accent, she simply counters: it’s because I want to. Why not? Damn right. 

These songs are Tor Maries’ experienced truth, then. ‘Modern Hart’ – a melancholic track that feels like a telegram to her old self – provides the opening. “Anyone can do it,” she sings over a grimy, Kim Deal-esque bassline. 

It’s a subtle start, but things soon spice up with a string of acerbic and entertaining pot-shots. ‘Hippy Elite’ is about wanting to be more active in the climate emergency, but also needing to cover the household bills. ‘Happy Misery’ takes aim at anti-productive nostalgic mindsets (see also: Gazelle Twin’s ‘Better In My Day’) and ‘Supermarket Sweep’ a song about how the mundanity of financial survival chips away at aspirations. There’s the catchy centrepiece ‘No’ – about the empowering discovery of resistance. 

Such everydayisms could come across as corny, but like her pals Sleaford Mods the songs are authentic, authoritative and frequently funny. They also pack a consistent and timely reminder: “Forgotten normal people are a force to remember.” 

Help keep Loud And Quiet going

As an independent title, it’s become harder than ever to make the numbers add up.

We never want to charge artists and labels for our content so are asking our readers and listeners if they can help.

If you enjoy L&Q, please consider signing up to one of our membership plans to receive our magazines, playlists, podcasts, full site access, record discounts and more. Pay per month to try it out and see how you feel.