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Single Review: Tourist feat. Ardyn – We Stayed Up All Night

 
By on Friday, 21st July 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

Grammy Award-winning composer and producer Tourist has released his first new music since his critically acclaimed debut album ‘U’ dropped last year. London-based composer and producer William Phillips is widely known for his bittersweet dance tracks that often feature collaborations with guest vocalists. Some of his past tracks have included guest spots by Lianne La Havas and Will Heard. After releasing three EPs under the name Tourist, he cemented his status within the industry by winning a Grammy for cowriting the Sam Smith hit ‘Stay With Me’. 2016’s ‘U’ garnered support from the likes of Vice, Billboard and Rolling Stone Australia. Tourist is now back with his first single since the release of his debut.

‘We Stayed Up All Night’ is a hauntingly catchy song simmering with youthful optimism. Musically, it resembles College and Electric Youth’s ‘80s-tinged track ‘A Real Hero’. A punchy 8th note synth bass drives the low end over a relaxed four-on-the-floor drum groove. Both are topped with bright and breezy vocals, in this case provided by Gloucestershire siblings Ardyn. Now this is the sound Tourist has come to be known for. The laid-back instrumentation of ‘We Stayed Up All Night’ sets a carefree and trance-like foundation. The lyrics paint a picture of the beautiful moment of ecstasy shared between two people, where yesterday doesn’t matter, and tomorrow doesn’t exist: “So let’s pretend that we have no weight on our shoulders / No time for future, no time for the past”. A simple and catchy vocal melody repeats the title lyrics “we stayed up all night”, concluding the pre-established carefree picture.

The mix between the laid-back instrumentation and the youthful, carefree lyrics brings a sense of safety to the listener. Almost as if for the 4 minutes 25 seconds runtime, the listener is right there in the moment.

8.5/10

‘We Stayed Up All Night’ by Tourist featuring Ardyn, is out now via Monday Records. Philips’ live appearances for the rest of 2017 include an appearance at Boardmasters Festival on Sunday 13 August, plus 2 nights back-to-back at London Corsica Studios on the 22nd and 23rd of November. For our past TGTF coverage on Tourist, go here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxJAZLNkmnY[/youtube]

 

Video of the Moment #2210: Tourist

 
By on Thursday, 27th October 2016 at 6:00 pm
 

In case you’ve been living under a rock and somehow missed this, Tourist, better known to his mum as William Phillips, released his debut album ‘U’ in May. The long-awaited long player didn’t disappoint; you can read my review of it through this link. The title track now has its own promo video. Directed by Jacob Robinson and Dillon Moore, the visuals take the viewer on a journey soundtracked by the electronic blips and blurps and vocal samples Phillips crafted into the song. Watch it below.

Catch Tourist on tour in England in November. To read more on Phillips’ project, you can catch up on TGTF’s coverage this way.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuuofcJgU4w[/youtube]

 

Tourist / November 2016 English Tour

 
By on Wednesday, 26th October 2016 at 8:00 am
 

William Phillips, better known by his electronic nom de plume Tourist, has several tour dates scheduled in England in November in support of debut album ‘U’, released back in May. You can read my review of ‘U’ here. These include an appearance at the venerated Manchester Warehouse Project on the 18th. They are part of a larger European tour for the artist, before he heads down to Australia for shows and festivals in January. For more of TGTF’s coverage on Tourist, follow this link.

Friday 18th November 2016 – Manchester Warehouse Project
Tuesday 29th November 2016 – Brighton Patterns
Wednesday 30th November 2016 – Leeds Wardrobe
Thursday 1st December 2016 – Bristol Marble Factory
Friday 2nd December 2016 – London Oval Space

 

Album Review: Tourist – U

 
By on Monday, 2nd May 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

Tourist U album coverThe Tourist debut album has been a long time coming. Electronic singer/songwriter and producer William Phillips hasn’t exactly been sitting on his hands in the last few years, however. He’s been biding his time with a series of EPs – ‘Tourist’ in 2012, ‘Tonight’ in 2013 and ‘Patterns’ in 2014 – and collaborated with several of current British pop royalty such as Lianne La Havas and Years and Years. In 2015, he won a Grammy for Song of the Year for his co-writing prowess for Sam Smith’s monster hit ‘Stay with Me’, a piece of trivia that probably hasn’t been advertised enough. On the other hand, dwelling on that fact could detract from Phillips’ own preferred mode of creativity, as a smart, inventive, engaging electronic artist.

On the last day of SXSW 2014, I caught Tourist at an afternoon showcase at the now-gone Holy Mountain. It didn’t matter that it was 1 in the afternoon. Phillips was in his element, creating a wall of sound in front of us, hunched over a Macbook and a tabletop full of equipment, and that’s the image I have of him while listening to ‘U’, envisioning him in the recording studio, laying down these tracks. The allure of electronic music for many is in its ambiguity, the need for the listener to really tune into the many elements of a track to achieve full-on appreciation for the art and the mood the creator intended. (In stark contrast, most top 40 pop is obvious, with its inclusion of a chorus, a hook, and verses that usually follow the same rhythmic pattern, all fitting neatly into a 3-minute bite of music.) Throughout the album, Phillips as Tourist shows his deft hand at developing soundscapes full of texture, of contrasts through light and dark, from contemplation to euphoria.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uN0Wt4qOxps[/youtube]

A great example of this is ‘Wait’. The track chugs along slowly with an insistent backbeat, with wub wubs and percussive flourishes towards a higher, smooth plateau of enjoyable consciousness for the listener. Another great moment on ‘U’ is previously released single ‘Run’, which was promoted with a NSFW video. Phillips describes it as “…a song about falling in love”, saying that he loved the Ozzie Pullin-directed video “because it’s so pure. It sums up the driving essence of what it means to be human.” After hearing his explanation of it, you hear the music and it all makes sense: at the core of the song is its pulsing heartbeat, a reminder of being alive and as an extension, the energised feeling you get when your heart is doing backflips over someone you’re attracted to.

Skittish in nature and with video game-esque blips and bloops, ‘Foolish’ is one of the more inspired moments on ‘U’. ‘Waves’ is similarly interesting: the song begins as if a casual dance stroll before it progresses to brighter, rave-worthy beats. The album ends on a wonderfully tropical note with ‘For Sarah’: gentle chords usher the track, which swells towards an expansive, shinier, lighter conclusion. Oddly, the one misstep on the record appears to be ‘Too Late’. Although the bpm is up for much of the track, the mood is largely one note, feeling like the sonic equivalent of your head being beat into a wall.

When I heard the Tourist album was going to be called ‘U’, I inwardly groaned, thinking that it was designed to appeal to a favourite text shorthand of millennials. But the more I’ve thought about it, ‘U’ represents a coolness that you yourself can embrace, by diving into this music, acknowledging it for the art it is. While it’s true that electronic music may not be for everyone, the songs contained on this album have a level of sophistication granted by Phillips’ way to putting together plenty of unique instrumental components and embellishments, and are therefore worthy of your time.

8/10

‘U’, the debut album from Tourist, is out this Friday, the 6th of May, on Monday Records. To read TGTF’s past coverage on Phillips’ work as Tourist, go here.

 

Video of the Moment #2048: Tourist

 
By on Friday, 25th March 2016 at 6:00 pm
 

Tourist, better known as London musician, songwriter and producer William Phillips to his mum, announced a few weeks ago his debut album release was on the horizon. ‘U’ now has a release date – the 6th of May – and the latest video from the album has already met controversy.

The promo for ‘Run’ has a NSFW version that you can view on i-D here, but here on TGTF, we liked to keep things clean and family friendly, especially during the work week, and (possibly) even more so on holy days such as today (oops). Most electronic songs have an insistent heartbeat, and when you’re faced with a song entitled ‘Run’, I think it’s safe to say that its beats will be massive, and that’s definitely true with this song. Essentially devoid of lyrical content, it’s a nicely atmospheric track to ease you into this Easter bank holiday weekend. Have a good one!

‘Run’ will be released as a single alongside Tourist’s new album. For more Tourist on TGTF, go here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBwtKSrFyjI[/youtube]

 

Video of the Moment #2002: Tourist

 
By on Monday, 1st February 2016 at 6:00 pm
 

London musician, songwriter and producer William Phillips, aka Tourist, announced last month that he would be releasing his debut album ‘U’ this year. Finally! He also announced a short string of live dates in the UK and Ireland; you can read them over here.

The purpose of today’s VOTM, however, is to introduce to the first taster from ‘U’. Single ‘To Have You Back’ is musically minimalist for the first 2/3rds of the song. Despite the relative bareness unusual for an electronic track, the song maintains an aura of cool until that point, after which soulfulness breaks through. The accompanying animated promo video beautifully goes with the music, as you’ll see below.

For more on Phillips and his music under the stage name Tourist here on TGTF, go here.

[vimeo]https://vimeo.com/153347717[/vimeo]

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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