By Kavit Sumud | February 5th, 2013
I was thinking a lot over the past few days about Felix Baumgartner (the daredevil who jumped 24 miles from the precipices of space out of a glorified hot air balloon only to hurtle down safely while breaking the sound barrier). Things could have gone horribly wrong, but in that moment as his feet wavered on the edges of the rocket that carried him to infamy or doom, the stillness of space and that first moment of free-fall must have felt glorious.
That moment of first descent all the way to the point of landing is what this new Tourist track invokes. Starting with a few notes on the piano and syncopated handclaps (which come across like percussive heartbeats unhindered by the normal effects of gravity), the song slowly layers a complex atmospheric anxiety. And that anxiety is full of wonder, breathlessness and awed alarm.
Amidst moments of pulsating silence, Tourist sings “I have no fear,” and the assured nature of the synths almost make you believe him. I think Pitchfork puts it best when they write: :Portions of the song drop out completely, highlighting the force and terror of the lyrics. The song’s vocal sample sings, “I don’t have no fear,” like an affirmation — or, perhaps, a cry to mask the vulnerability in such a statement.”
I haven’t been this inspired by an electronica piece since the Star Slinger remix of Gold Panda’s “Marriage” (and I listen to a lot of electronica). Like an aerie in your own descent from space, I hope this airy piece of synth-pop inspires as much as it has me. Check out more at Tourist’s Soundcloud.