The latest release from British producer Tourist (Will Phillips), is a cascading audio scape of nature. Inside Out is crafted with Tourist’s trademark sound of bright, ephemeral melodies, and surging drum beats that pull you through the album.

The album artwork by Jamie Hawkesworth places you exactly where Tourist intended, travelling. The Image is dappled with light and presents an openness to the natural world, but positions the audience inside the car in which we’re travelling. From the slow build of the album opener ‘Speak in Symphony’. To the more uptempo cut, ‘A Dedication’. This album encapsulates movement in all facets of life, but particularly travel. 

If you close your eyes you’re transported to forests, lakes, and exotic bustling cities. This ability to transport the listener to a place of vast freedoms, is borne of the way in which humanity as a collective, have been glued to the spot for two years. Inside Out, reflects a global yearning to travel and a great big sigh of relief as our shackles have been undone.

Inside Out also walks an intriguingly fine line. It provides this feeling of constant movement, without turning into self-indulgent escapism. The album definitely varies it’s pace, but moves onward constantly. Phillips manages to create a very inward feeling across the entirety of this record, and it’s this personal connection across each track that grounds it.

The use of noises from nature, such as distant conversations, birdsong and crickets. Add to the richness of the album and further lean into it’s transportive elements. These are motifs that Phillips has often used in his work as Tourist. It is a device that manages to create a rich humanity to electronic music, that can otherwise become cold and mechanical. The drums and keys are particularly warm on  ‘Lark’, with the sonic depth of the track being so vivid and luscious.

Where moments of the record like ‘Silent Letter’ are tinged with sadness and deep reflection. On the whole there is a joy to Inside Out that emanates throughout. With Phillips himself navigating many personal changes since the release of his last album back in 2019. The trials and tribulations, but most importantly the joys, of becoming a new father are splashed out onto the canvas of the album for all to see. It is clear that his young child is a new source of inspiration on this album that separates it from his previous body of work.

Inside Out is an album best enjoyed in one sitting. I implore you to step outside and brave the elements to enjoy this album whilst walking in nature.

George Davies

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