You try to remember the first time you heard Jose James or Lianne La Havas or Kwabs, that gliding experience of being guided down a musical lane you’ve not quite heard before but was grateful for the experience. Listening to the sanded smooth Washington, DC bred and New School refined singer/songwriter James Tillman for the first time feels like one of those kinds of experiences.
Fans of BamaLoveSoul’s On Deck 2, where Tillman’s buzzcut, “Shangri La,” debuted last year, already know what I’m speaking of. With just four songs on his forthcoming Brazilian influenced Shangri La EP, digitally dropping on April 29th, Tillman does something that hasn’t been done so quickly with so few songs since KING first registered as the next artists to watch off of their three-song The Story EP: Tillman captures and then keeps our attention. After he’s done, he also leaves you wanting more. Take a listen to his video and see if you aren’t left panting for more of his spare, smoldering fire.
By L. Michael Gipson