During an interview with AXS.com last year at Panorama Music Festival, Tourist--William Phillips to his family--told us that he wanted to do something “beautiful and moving” for his second album. Based on his performance at LA’s iconic Greek Theatre on Wednesday, where he warmed up the stage for Bonobo and Bob Moses, everything is progressing as planned.
Anchored by his gorgeous new single “We Stayed Up All Night,” Tourist’s set was equal parts emotional and visceral. Although Phillips’ name is on a Grammy Award for Song of the Year--thanks to his co-writing credit on Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me”--Tourist’s own music is much more rooted in garage and dance. Yet there’s also an undeniable emotional ambivalence to his sound, making him an ideal opener for the show.
Still, it’s not as if Phillips’ fluency in pop has betrayed him. Perhaps more than any other song in his catalog, “We Stayed Up All Night” finds a balance between earworm immediacy and lush atmosphere. It’s one of the best, most sophisticated electronic anthems of the year and it fit in perfectly alongside songs like his set-closing hit "Run."
Fans can expect more new music soon, as Tourist hinted at a new EP in an August Facebook post. He’ll also be returning to his native England for a pair of shows at Corsica Studios on November 22-23.
Check out photos from Tourist’s performance at the Greek above and click here for tickets to his shows at Corsica Studios in November.