Now, if you were frequenting this site around this time last year, you may have come across a post or two featuring William Phillips, London, UK-based electronic music artist/producer and songwriter, best known in electronic music circles as Tourist, and cowriter of Sam Smith’s smash hit, Grammy Award-winning single “Stay With Me.” Adding to a breakthrough 2015, Phillips played that year’s Coachella and Pitchfork Festival Paris, went on lengthy tours of the European Union and North America, made mixes for BBC 1‘s Diplo and Friends and i-D Magazine, as well as received praise from a variety of media outlets — including Pitchfork, FADER and others. Phillips built upon a growing international profile with the release of his full-length debut U, an album that focused on a failed personal relationship the songwriter and producer had; in fact, as Philips mentioned in press notes on his full-length debut, “I’ve always recorded a lot of my life through my phone. Whilst writing the album, I found a huge number of recording that I had whilst being in that relationship, so my ex’s voice is all over this record. Also the sounds of the places we lived and visited together form prominent backdrops to the music.”
I don’t know how to describe it sonically, it’s not really body music, it’s just a story told through different tempos and sounds. I’m not channelling any specific scene or sound, just my thoughts and feelings. I don’t really understand the term ‘electronic music’ but I suppose if pressed I’d call it that.
I have zero interest in beats and scenes, I’m much more interested in stories. I feel as though this is the biggest lesson I learnt whilst writing this album, that I don’t write music to express myself but to enrich myself. It wasn’t until finishing this album that I could truly feel at peace with that chapter in my life.”
“We Stay Up All Night” is Phillips’ latest single is an ethereal and shimmering collaboration with pop vocalist Ardyn that features the sort of soaring and anthemic hooks reminiscent of M83 — but underneath the bright neon-colored vibes is a subtle hint at wistful nostalgia — presumably at the passing of youth but with a fondness and sweetness. As Phillips mentions in press notes, the new single is “more reflective of who I am now, and how my life has changed over the past year. I moved out of my windowless studio and started writing from home again. I think subconsciously, I’ve started writing more joyous, colourful music and I’ve loved being collaborative once again. ” Phillips goes on to say that the new music he’s recently written may be some of his favorite material he’s produced so far, because he’s loved the opportunity to push his sound towards a new place. Of course, while pushing his sound to a warmer and happier vibe, the internationally renowned producer and songwriter has retained elements of the aesthetic that caught the attention of fans and the blogosphere across the world — mainly a shimmering, cosmic glow and a swooning earnestness to the proceedings.
Directed by Daniel Brereton, who has directed videos for Kindess, Connan Moccasin and Metronomy, the video follows a quartet of teenagers as they drive to the British countryside to goof off, explore both in daylight and at night, couple up, canoodle, get high and share intimate moments before one couple stumbles upon a forest-based all night rave, and spends the morning watching the sun rise. The video manages to perfectly encapsulate the feeling of exploration, limitless possibility, naivete and foolhardy passions of youth.