Tuesday, September 15, 2009

J. Tillman a man with a voice

Here's a new review for the IODA Marketing Blog on the new J. Tillman (Fleet Foxes) solo record:
By: Elijah Carroll

: J. Tillman
Title: Year in the Kingdom
Label: Western Vinyl
Genre: Indie : Psychedelic Folk
Release Date: 9/15/09
UPC: 656605460222
Territory: Americas, Africa

Year in the Kingdom is the 6th solo release for singer/songwriter J. Tillman. Today most people who are familiar with Tillman know him as the drummer for the acclaimed indie folk band Fleet Foxes. Tillman got his start playing drums for several indie rock bands including Saxon Shore during his college years in New York. On the side he wrote and recorded his own music inspired by folk icons such as Nick Drake and Pete Seeger. Tillman began selling and distributing CD-R demos while playing out and eventually one found it's way to Damien Jurado. After hearing Tillman's songs Jurado decided to bring him on tour as his drummer and occasional opening act. During the tour Tillman became close with Jurado's friend and band-mate Eric Fisher who would later produce Tillman's second effort Long May You Run. As Tillman became more and more involved in the Seattle indie folk scene he befriended several members of the rising band Fleet Foxes. At the end of April 2008 it was announced that J. Tillman was joining the Foxes as their new drummer.

With his latest release Tillman is clearly holding fast to what he does best - pure honest lyrics backed sparsely by an interesting blend of instruments. Hammer dulcimer, recorder, cymbals of varying size and wheezing air organs all help to create the unique backdrop for Tillman's vocals. In contrast to his previous album Vacilando Territory Blues Tillman's latest record does not feature any of the other Foxes or their signature vocal harmonies. Rather Year in the Kingdom is a stark folk record that places Tillman's unaffected voice at the forefront. This album is a true work of art and another glimpse into Tillman's very being. With the whole pop music world becoming increasingly digitized and auto-tuned, it is truly a gift that musicians like Tillman still give us truly honest music.

Though stark and at times almost somber Year in the Kingdom is a record of hope and for those who have followed his solo career clearly his most joyful work to date. The title track has a beautiful happiness to it that seems to convey Tillman's true feelings on life. The moving ballad Earthly Bodies is a celebration of this world we live in and the bodies that hold our spirits. Tillman has established himself as a real folk troubadour and this record clearly places him with the best of his generation. Year in the Kingdom embodies everything we want in a folk record: Honesty and truth with a beautiful stark accompaniment.

Here's a great track off Year in the Kingdom:

Year in the KingdomJ. Tillman
"Earthly Bodies" (mp3)
from "Year in the Kingdom"
(Western Vinyl)

More On This Album