James Tillman shares “Things To Say” single & announces sophomore album ‘Modern Desires' out Oct 9
Brooklyn-based alt R&B artist, James Tillman announces his sophomore album, Modern Desires, and shares new single “Things To Say,” out today. The forthcoming 8-track LP arrives on October 9, 2020. The newly released track is the third single from the new project, following singles “Lose Control,” with its '90s hip-hop vibe, and soul-piercing touch song “5AM.” Tillman's brand of tender, warm and sultry energy stays consistent on the latest offering, and “Things To Say” takes listeners back with a 1970s inspired Brazilian and Latin-infused funkiness. Tillman says it's about “the desire to be heard without misunderstanding, but also accepting the possibility of being misunderstood.” The psychedelic new tune is pensive and futurist at the same time.
This dichotomy of the past meeting the future is a theme on the upcoming album and Tillman says, “We are anxious about the future. Anxious about the past.” He continues, “Sometimes we just lose control. Discipline and surrender are in order but must be tempered. We lay awake thinking of love, late into twilight. We sleepwalk on days when rest eludes us. There are highs and there are lows. We want what we want. What does it look like to see someone remember? What do I Desire? What do I need? simple questions connect us all. Feel present, be love.”
illman says, “Modern Desires is conceptually about torch songs that encapsulate moods and realities of adult life. There is a tone of sensuality and romance, but also of longing, change, and introspection. The music cycles through feelings that I believe connect us all. Musically speaking, the work is inspired by sounds that have come before but focused on the progression of those ideas. Funk and soul influences similar to Silk Noise Reflex can be heard throughout. I sought inspirations from the offerings of British artists like Sade and Phil Collins. Their songs skillfully portray moods and render the mundane with iconic precision.”
Recorded at Red Bull Studios with Evan Sutton, Tillman worked with Richie Marrero, iconic bandleader, and percussionist who worked on amazing records with artists like Angela Bofil and Hector Lavoe in the '70s and '80s. Tillman says, “It was great to collaborate with friends on the songwriting— something of a first for me. I worked on 5AM with composer and producer Oliver Lewin, and collaborated with a young engineer and producer named Gabriel Pearson on Night Fire. Lose Control was a collaboration with producer Matt Rivera out of Chicago. Jeremy Lubsey over at Vlado did the master, and Beau Sorenson was back again to mix the record, making it feel like a true family affair.“
The new LP follows a self-released 4-track mixtape/EP titled VM2. The mixtape serves as a precursor to the album and was an offering to his fans in light of everyone being stuck inside during the pandemic. His track “Moonshine” was featured in TheFADER‘s 10 songs you need in your life this week back in June. Tillman has been featured on Milk.XYZ‘s “Ones to Watch”, KCRW’s “Artist You Should Know” has received praise from media outlets such as Okayplayer, Audiotree, Earmilk, COLORS, Gothamist, and more. More recently, Singapore-based music and media company, Darker than Wax featured James' single “Arizona” in their summer series compilation titled “Various Channels.” He has also supported tours and musical acts for tUnE-yArDs, Charlotte Day Wilson, Anna Wise, Jordan Rakei, and Kate Tempest.
His single “Casual Encounters” has garnered over 4.3M+ streams on Spotify and was featured in an episode on Netflix’s Original Series Dear White People. Tillman was recently interviewed by NPR’s All Things Considered to discuss the Dear White People sync placement and how it impacted his musical career. NPR says, “But song placement is still not a magic bullet: Despite getting his song on a hit TV show, for now, James Tillman remains unsigned.” Still, Tillman has a dedicated fanbase of over 230K+ monthly Spotify listeners, and has over 12M streamson Spotify and has way surpassed 2M listeners on Apple Music. For James Tillman, it's only the beginning. Stay tuned for the full-length album.