Before listening to this EP, I went through my Spotify library to figure out when I listened to Tim Atlas for the first time, so that I could compare and think about his evolution as an artist—and man was I shocked.
I had not realized I’ve been listening to him since 2016 when he put out the song “Wander.” For a second I thought that this meant I was a day one and I just wasn’t aware, but then, during my exhaustive journalistic research, I also happened to learn that he was actually on Season 9 of The Voice. So I feel like a fake fan, but in my defense this means my connection with his music was completely and absolutely organic.
Second of all, I was slightly amused AND appalled by the sound of that 7-year-old song and how it could not be further away from Tim (legally Timothy Ferguson)’s new EP Le Soir. The track—although very good—sounds almost like tropical pop, with very clean vocals and a pretty typical song structure. And although I guess his new music can still fall into the indie pop reign, it’s now in a way that feels arguably genre-bending and experimental.
Tim Atlas’ musical transformation eventually blossomed into this six-track project that feels carefully curated from beginning to end. The title track feels like the opening of a live show, like the song they would play before he comes on stage. It’s a mostly-instrumental song that immediately shows you the kind of experience you’re about to live through, and gets you excited for whatever comes next.
“Sushi in Wyoming” really fixates on the experimental aspect I mentioned earlier. The voice feels off beat but showing up in all the right places, and the melody varies enough to take you off guard but keep you under its spell. It’s fast-paced and invigorating, and as dumb and chronically Gen-Z as this might sound, my first thought was “the vibes in this song are immaculate.” The song is also less than three minutes long, but it’s long enough to take you on a full trip while listening to it.
I thought that one might be my favorite song on the album because of the chill but thrilling energy of it, but “Knockin” is still the winner in my heart. Being the first single of the project, it actually came out in May, but three months later, it’s still a perfect leading single to me.
It’s just so out of place –the beginning makes me think of Kendrick Lamar (I am being so serious) and then it blends into an Omar Apollo-esque verse that takes you back to Tim’s groovy origins. His voice is usually very soothing and pleasant, but in “Knockin” it also just sounds badass and engaging. I love this song! So much! I do not know what he’s talking about, sex? Love? Lust? Something else I’m too slow to get? I don’t care! I love this song!
“Attractive” feels like a little more of a conventional single, though I do love the old school sounds used in the production, similar to the ones used in Silk Sonic’s music. But Tim’s music remains unique with the way it goes all over the place. It’s like he has ideas and feels the need to put them all into the same song, at different moments, and it just works somehow, and puts his personal trademark into it.
For the closing track of Le Soir, Tim suddenly leaves everything he built up to behind, to deliver a slower song titled “Mom.” In this touching song, he sings about growing apart from a parent once you become your own person, allowing a look into a more vulnerable side of him.
This entire EP gave me more than I expected—Tim’s music is always nice to listen to but this time it made me love it. It feels like a culmination of the past singles he’s released in the last few years, and it gives us a glimpse of the range of styles that Tim might move towards next.
Le Soir is out tomorrow.