It’s pretty early here in New York. I’ve been in and out of sleep, and for whatever reason I can’t seem to fall into my sleep space. These are the kind of nights I hate to love. I know sleep is important, but there’s just something so liberating about being the only one awake in your apartment- let alone the city that supposedly never sleeps (all my friends are dreaming judging by the lack of little green dots next to my Facebook buddy list and the zero text message responses). I’m not complaining, though. The Empire State Building has turned off its lights and I’ve turned to a cup of tea and a song that embodies the phrase “dreaming wide awake.” It’s at this hour that I feel like my mind is at its most awake moment. I can think clearly with the world outside my window at a relative standstill. Perspective is actually in reach and the only thing distracting me are the numbers on my clock creeping towards the set alarm time. Time, however, is man-made and at this point in the night I feel free enough to ditch those glowing red numbers and focus on what’s happening in front of and around me. It’s a little lie, but the world is mine in this moment.
William Phillips, the name behind Tourist, has crafted a soundscape worthy of insomniac nights. He chops up Aaliyah’s “If your girl only knew” lyrics and spins them over an ambient synth and percussion line that melts into your atmosphere. Each layer of Phillips’ track creeps in, crescendoing itself into your consciousness before dissolving back into the air. It’s a track that simply weaves its way through “time” – softly carrying you through its lush landscape before fading away from your audio periphery. I’ve written earlier this month about songs that you dissolve with, but this is track that dissolves into you. It’s a track that lulls and calms you for no other reason but it’s blatant “I am sound” message. Andy Warhol once said that if we wanted to know who Andy Warhol was we only need to look at the surface of his paintings and there he was. The same idea goes for this track. If we want to know what music truly is we only need to listen to this track and feel the sound not only washing over us, but becoming us.