Release Date: May 6, 2016
Record label: Mtheory Artist Ventures
Genre(s): Electronic, House, Garage, Pop/Rock, Club/Dance, 2-Step/British Garage
Somewhere between Jacques Greene and James Blake sits Tourist, a Grammy Award-winning songwriter/producer whose emotive club music will make you cry, dance, or both. “I have zero interest in beats and scenes,” explains William Phillips, “I’m more interested in stories. ” Full of layered synths and soulful vocals it’s a well-crafted collection, with many tracks built up from bare vocals: ‘Run’, ‘Wait’ and ‘To Have You Back’ express urgency and concern through quickening pace, ‘Too Late’ is the realization that it’s the end and a trapped voice begs for freedom throughout ‘For Sarah’.
U is the debut album from London's William Phillips, who previously released an EP on Disclosure's label Method Records and co-wrote Sam Smith's Grammy-winning mega-hit "Stay with Me." While Phillips' earliest EP was downtempo and closer to chillwave, his subsequent releases are a sort of bittersweet U.K. garage. 2014's Patterns EP contained guest vocalists by Lianne La Havas and Will Heard, but on U, Phillips sticks with chopped-up vocal samples, resisting the straightforward pop route that Disclosure traveled on their full-lengths.
Tourist’s debut solo record is an intricate, melancholic and exceptionally well made LP that traces the arc of a relationship from its beginning stages to its dissolution. The U.K. producer has a deft touch and gift for melody, making U one of the more engaging electronic debuts we’ve seen this year. ? Similar to fellow Londoner The Japanese House, Tourist is uniquely capable of crafting tracks that are simultaneously vast and intimate, a quality that allows listeners to take in U both as a narrative work and simply as atmospheric electronica.