Written by Ryan McIlory
Tourist, aka William Phillips, has strengthened exponentially with each piece of music he has released. The Londoner blossomed in 2016 with his debut album U, which was something of a masterpiece, merging powerful driven tracks (Too Late, To Have You Back) with more infectious, danceable grooves (Separate Ways, Run).
The album appeared to signify the end of a personal relationship for Tourist, and perhaps as a result, the start of a new musical chapter for him as a producer. He is back one year on with a new EP, Wash, and it’s a much more chilled out affair.
The quiet confidence of this release could indicate that Phillips is in a more comfortable place beyond the music. Wash feels much less personal and similar to his 2014 EP, Patterns, vocal features are re-welcomed, perhaps signifying a return to making music purely for it’s enjoyment rather than as a cathartic response to his own feelings.
The sound is mainly gentle but paired with some old school electro moments, like a pleasing mix of MGMT and Sigur Rós. We Stayed Up All Night was released as a single prior to the EP and it is instantly enjoyable with a chorus hook that is almost impossible to get out your head. The vocal performance on Sleepwalking by Swim Mountain and especially Esther Joy is magnificent and the closer Hush is, as the name would suggest, a stripped back and serene way to bring the EP to an end.
It feels like Tourist has matured both as a songwriter and as a person and the result is complete musical freedom and four songs that are not as emotive as his previous material but offer a new kind of enjoyment for listeners.
Listen to the EP below: