First Listen: Topher James "Gets It" on new single

Photo courtesy of Topher James, photo credit: Bobby Leonard

(July 13, 2020) Since forming his band Biscuit Brigade back in 2014, Topher James (born Chris Shaw) has been hard-at-work dropping EPs and singles. Two of the latter, “Hard Love” and “New Home,” grabbed our attention at SoulTracks back in 2017. Now, the Columbus, Ohio-based singer/songwriter is dropping one of his most personal and self-reflective ballads to date.

On the opening bars of “I Get It,” you hear James working his blue-eyed soul magic on a set of lyrics that instantly grabs your attention: “I get it/You see me as one dimensional, but I got more tricks up my sleeve.” This valorous moment of self-evaluation makes way for more analyzing drama as he huffs, “I know it/Maybe I’m thinking too much; fear of rejection is a hell of a drug.” But all isn’t gloom; there’s a hint of optimism found on the bridge, as the vibe of the retro ‘70’s soul lifts upward and he finally asserts that “I got a good thing going on.”

(July 13, 2020) Since forming his band Biscuit Brigade back in 2014, Topher James (born Chris Shaw) has been hard-at-work dropping EPs and singles. Two of the latter, “Hard Love” and “New Home,” grabbed our attention at SoulTracks back in 2017. Now, the Columbus, Ohio-based singer/songwriter is dropping one of his most personal and self-reflective ballads to date.

On the opening bars of “I Get It,” you hear James working his blue-eyed soul magic on a set of lyrics that instantly grabs your attention: “I get it/You see me as one dimensional, but I got more tricks up my sleeve.” This valorous moment of self-evaluation makes way for more analyzing drama as he huffs, “I know it/Maybe I’m thinking too much; fear of rejection is a hell of a drug.” But all isn’t gloom; there’s a hint of optimism found on the bridge, as the vibe of the retro ‘70’s soul lifts upward and he finally asserts that “I got a good thing going on.”

The birth of such a song came about when James’s son was born. Five years later, the song grew into something deeper. “It is hard to talk about emotions of loneliness and sadness because I hate dwelling on feelings that aren't positive but this was my chance to talk about real emotions and try to work through them in song,” James says by email. “Maybe I can learn something about these perceptions people have about me and change for the better, that's what I'm continually attempting to do in this short time we have on Earth.”

James shouldn’t worry too much about our perceptions of this creamy ballad. It sounds as if it was plucked right from Mayer Hawthorne’s A Strange Arrangement sessions. It’s smooth, pleasantly relaxing and plays with all the natural high ingredients of Quiet Storm, especially inside the cascade of rich backing harmonies and soothing Rhodes action. And when James exercises his velvety falsetto, there’s no return to sender. The soulful magic is definitely there.

Check out James’s latest single and let us know if you “get it.”

By J Matthew Cobb

Topher James & Biscuit Brigade
"I Get It"

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