Released: March 2021
Label: Musella Creative
James Tillman has penned his genre-blending style as ‘silk noise’ - a down beat merging of 80’s Experimental and R&B. Like me, Tillman grew up outside the District of Columbia, and whilst DC is known for its unique go-go sound, it is far from a breeding ground for up-and-coming artists. Having been educated in the purism of church choirs, classical piano & clarinet, Tillman’s brief stint at the University of Virginia made clear his desire to create what spoke to his heart. He searched for a community that would accept his musical ambitions, eventually calling New York home.
Musically, Tillman has taken his time. His 2016 album ‘Silk Noise Reflex' and a steady stream of singles made him a standout artist and his 2020 album ‘Modern Desires’ was praised for its ability to connect us with the past whilst sounding futuristic.
‘Red Glow’ marks his first single since his January live collaboration ‘After Hours’ with Atlanta composer Flwr Chyld and begins with a spaced-out percussion arrangement that sets the mood. Tillman compliments the drums by rhythmically breathing, elevating the track’s passion. The brief moments of silence between kick drums and breath add a layer of intimacy that has become a staple of his artistry. His synth-meets-Rhodes arrangement has an airy feel and the carefully placed sliding scales add a warmth that only amplifies his message.
“Giving it all that I’ve got...for you...” he soulfully sings, stretching his words to evoke empathy and trust from his listener. Presenting his view of love and life that is limitless and free of doubt it is easy to be captivated by the richness of ‘Red Glow’ as it strikes a balance between daring and comforting that feels organic. Tillman encourages us to leap towards our dreams and promises to be there every step of the way. He continues to perfect his craft and is becoming one of the most sincere voices in R&B.