Tourist is back and churning out music faster than ever before – but not in the way you think. After his sophomore album release in February, the London artist has reemerged with ‘Wild,’ an LP as chaotic and messy as the title sounds. In an effort to push off his own bouts of self-doubt, Tourist has chosen to overshare his art, leading strictly with his instincts. For 38 minutes, 12 bittersweet tracks grace the stage with a kind of feverish intensity, each one led by an impulse that feels incredibly primal. The sounds are choppy and take movements similar to the ocean – the tempo speeds up, the tide rises, and the music crescendos and crashes like a wave on the shore. Perhaps these references to nature are a testament to the raw essence of the album, but all of it made me feel incredibly human without needing any lyrics.
Full disclosure, I’m a big lyrics person: it’s the easiest way for me to identify with a piece of music. But Tourist is the one exception to this rule – the few words in these tracks are short and quickly fade out, containing remnants of feelings and phrases that one can only yearn for. Without words, I took the opportunity to ground myself in my surroundings, allowing the tracks to blend into my own world instead of the opposite, fitting into the spaces where I needed them most. I’ve jokingly referred to ‘Wild’ as a multipurpose LP, but it’s true – when you’re constantly surrounded by noise, it’s nice to have something in your back pocket that allows you a moment to breathe in any situation. The world keeps going, but there you are, lost deep in the spin of ‘Bunny’ or ‘Kin,’ taking time to feel every pulse and romanticized swirl and grumbling bass drum. It’s peaceful there, and just the right amount of quiet without completely isolating yourself from everything else.
Tourist is excellent at displaying intention through sound – I could really feel the ethereal vibrations on ‘Fiction,’ the deer in headlights reaction on ‘Still Life,’ and the wash of relief on ‘Elixir’ that made me feel like I just swallowed something sweet. For someone playing with wacky, limitless sounds, Tourist doesn’t overcomplicate things – his LP is simply an honest sharing session, jumping from tracks like ‘And So You Were!’ that are light and gentle to tracks like ‘So’ that feel dark and vast. Tourist didn’t overthink this LP, but nothing on it was an afterthought – it feels very in the moment, bound by nothing but Tourist’s own personal inclinations as an artist. It’s easy to hide, but it’s much harder to bare your soul – and as a fan, I deeply appreciate that Tourist agreed to loop us in.