Landon Williams has played over 200 shows since the release of his 2013 EP. The hard work involved in fast-paced touring is second nature to Landon, who was raised on a cattle ranch near Rye, Colorado. An authentic country farmer from a town with a population of 201, Landon is no stranger to discipline. “I look back and see that I was moulded on a platform that makes the arduous ways of the music business, and the challenges therein, feel normal,” he says on his website.
Despite having a country upbringing that is more authentic than most of the big names in that genre, Landon’s style is intrinsically smooth. Landon’s new single, ‘Tonight’, is a far leap from his last EP, but retains an easy vibe.
If you have heard Landon’s EP, you could be forgiven for not recognising the vocals in ‘Tonight’. You can literally hear the musical progression that Landon has made in the upper range of his vocals. Whilst a unique voice can be a joy to listen to, it takes talent to be able to employ such a dynamic sound.
This change of musical direction from a style that echoes John Mayer and Jack Johnson to one that has the chill vibe of Foster the People is praise worthy. Landon’s new style encapsulates both light and dark, and has a hard-edged groove while retaining absolute chill. It’s less ‘guy with guitar’ and more of a musical production to delight the ears.
The song has been co-written and produced by PJ Bianco, who is renowned for his work with Metro Station, Sean Paul, the Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato. The highly produced nature of the song is offset by the homage Landon pays to the old-school greats, including Van Morrison and Marvin Gaye.
‘Tonight’ is smooth and rich, with a high level of sensual energy. The rhythm is upbeat, but the lyrics and steep oceanic breaks hint at a deep frustration. This complexity is what makes ‘Tonight’ a track that you should listen to and then listen out for – there is a huge amount of growing corporate interest in Landon’s catalogue with the release of this single.
Landon deserves attention as a new indie force for this infectious single. With beats that echo with the crispness of The Black Keys, and chill that sits just a notch livelier than The XX, ‘Tonight’ is the complete package for a chill background song – sexy, funky and smooth. It should be playing the next time you serve a full-bodied red to dinner guests.
Score: 8/10 Stars