TEN TALKS TO TOURIST
Tourist is here to save the day through dance music. The British electronic artist has come out of a heavy two years with a feel-everything album that was his source of stability during a tumultuous time. “The album serves to uplift and move people,” he says. And it does. We spoke to the musician about creating through the motions of loss and life, and what he is hopeful for:
Inside Out has come from such a pivotal moment in your life. What did you learn about yourself while you were making this album?
"It was certainly new territory for me, it was the year the world changed - the year I lost a friend and the year I became a father. It was the music I wrote was against a backdrop of these pivotal events, so it felt as though I wanted to write in a way that felt was as direct as possible, I really wasn’t interested in being obtuse or difficult to read. I think I learnt that none of us have half as much time as we think we do, and as much as it might sound a lot like some cloying instagram quote, each moment is as precious as any other."
Where did you make the album? Did you travel out of London to create for it? Or was it important for you to be grounded at home?
"Due to the nature of the lockdowns, I was unable to travel anywhere. The record was written primarily at home because I had no choice. It actually made the process simpler in a strange way, by removing all of these variables it made me focus on what was important - simply writing music. I think many musicians are quite accustomed to working and living at home, so the pandemic didn’t really change much in that regard - but the lack of being able to take the music to different places wasn’t something I foresaw. I do think the album actually benefits from these limitations, it was liberating to use only what was at hand - in my case a MacBook, an iPhone and an OP-1."
As upbeat and joyful as it is, there are such deep, poignant moments on the album, like on With You. What do you hope your audience feels listening to the album? What did you want to convey through the music?
"I’d hope most simply that it would speak to them, sometimes artists say they only write for themselves, but that’s really not true with this album. This is a record that was primarily inspired by someone else, and it is in celebration of that person. I think there is a fundamental tension between joy and melancholy in my music, and it’s those two things wrestling with each other that I wanted to explore. I’d hope that this music might make people feel both happy and sad at the same time, kind of in reverence of the fact that that is what life often is - utter sadness and joy in equal measure."
How has the world of Tourist evolved on this album?
"I think I’m less afraid of being direct. I view being upfront as something to embrace, not to shy away from. Production wise it’s certainly the most dance oriented music I’ve written in a while, I just really didn’t feel implored to write a downtempo / electronic record to explore these themes. It feels like a really necessary chapter after the last three albums."
Is there a song you’re most proud of on the album?
"Probably 'Your Love', I think it sums up 10 years of Tourist in 4 minutes."
What have you learnt from your daughter since she’s come into the world?
Who/what are you feeling inspired by in 2022?
"The re-opening of the world, the sound of live music, the feeling of being amongst others."
What are you hopeful for?
"The kindness of strangers."
Where would you love for listeners to experience this album for the first time?
"In the car on the way to a Tourist live show."
What’s next? Can we expect a tour?
"Lots of stuff, yes!"
Listen to the album here.