As the album art might suggest, this Tourist EP offers a slightly darker and more mysterious tone than his vibrant debut. ‘Placid Acid’ was jubilant and triumphant whereas the opener from Tonight prefers to lurk in the shadows. And for that reason, it also has to work harder to leave a meaningful impression like ‘Placid Acid’ did.
But this is a different EP, and although the fundamental mechanics that makes it inherently Tourist remains, the tone is more overcast. Unfortunately, it takes until the second track for you to see what this entails. ‘I Have No Fear’ is quite spectral at its core but has wonderful layers (courtesy of some unique samples) that pop in and out at will while eerie squeals pad out its shadowy timbre. All of this is carefully balanced on the fulcrum of sinister synths. This track is one the most thoughtfully arranged out there right now and it illustrates Will Phillips as one of the best up-and-coming producers.
The other two tracks are less memorable but certainly enjoyable. They bubble along with an understated manner asking you to look closer and notice the glimmering flecks. They’re danceable too and the intricacies in the composition would be many times more prominent and luminous; the colour is certainly there but modest.
Tonight may not be as accessible or eccentric as Tourist’s debut EP but it does highlight his willingness to explore an altered resonance perhaps sharpening his other blades in anticipation of an album release. Overall, this new departure just amplifies the impatience for a debut Tourist album and you can be sure that it won’t be short of variety or dynamism.
Tonight EP is released digitally by Monday Records on…Monday (18 Feb).