Travis Gilbert has been strutting the Northern Irish music scene for some time now. Initially as the Colly Strings frontman and in more recent years under the Travis Is A Tourist guise.
Travis has been a tourist for some time, relocating to Paris for a while before returning to these shores. He has been busy on several tours since his time in France; supporting Benjamin Francis Leftwich on his lengthy comeback tour, and then Ryan McMullan, who he is due to reunite with this year. Despite his seldom empty travel bag, he has managed to get a couple singles out over the last year.
B e f o r e u g o g o hit an online platform near you this month.
I first wrote about Travis in March 2014. I described his foray a solo artist as a ‘personal crusade into music’, four years on and his campaign continues. The look is the same, it’s just a different rolled cigarette behind the ear. The music though has morphed with the man.
There’s been a noticeable shift away from that nu-folk-pop sound that was popular through my student life. Now there is much more of an R n B influence; electronic tones and synths. The first 20 seconds could be tied to Eleven from Stranger Things taking over a school disco.
There’s a lot of maturity attached to the track, with an appreciation that a slither of silence in a song can let it breath and build for a listener. The trademark smoothness of his vocals still reigns supreme; he’s one of the most naturally gifted vocalists in the country in my opinion.
It’s a track worthy of my Spring playlist, and it will add to a great live show set, which I suppose fits ideally with Travis Is A Tourist’s current career. However, the wait continues for a longer piece of work whether it is an album or a substantial EP.
That’s the next test.