Ten years into his career, Tim Atlas proves he’s ready for anything and everything with the unrestrained and unapologetic ‘Le Soir’ EP, an ambitiously expansive, sonically and emotionally charged collection – and part one of a larger, forthcoming body of work.
Stream: “Attractive” – Tim Atlas
Sleek, seductive, and soulful, Le Soir is funky. It’s feverish. It’s fresh, bold, and brash.
It’s the one and only Tim Atlas you’ve long known and loved, and at the same time it’s Tim Atlas like you’ve never heard him before. It’s evening – in French – and to its credit, there is an “after dark” element to these intoxicating songs..
Prepare to be ensnared in the best way possible as one of our favorite artists finds his voice anew within a darker sonic palette: Ten years into his career, Tim Atlas proves he’s ready for anything and everything with the unrestrained and unapologetic Le Soir EP, an ambitiously expansive, sonically and emotionally charged collection – and part one of a larger, forthcoming body of work.
Prepare to be entranced.
I find u so attractive
No encrypted message
I just want u to be
Sleeping right next to me
Am I being too much, too much
Your stuff Is everywhere
And all I find are strands of you
In every room
I wanna think that some day
Gold locks, no strays
Are regular weeknights in the honeymoon phase
– “Attractive,” Tim Atlas
Released August 25, 2023 via Nettwerk Music Group, Le Soir is an immersive, all-consuming seven-track enchantment – and the beginning of an exhilarating new era in singer, songwriter, and producer Tim Atlas’ artistry. Born in the Bay Area and until last year based in Los Angeles, the recent Brooklyn resident celebrated ten years of recorded music (he independently released his debut EP Lost In The Waiting in 2013, when he was 24 years old) in the best way possible: With unbridled experimentation and outside-the-box creative thinking. Atlas’ fifth (that’s right, fifth) EP is down-to-earth, colorful, dynamic, and varied – blending elements of R&B and neo-soul with funk, alternative, bedroom pop, and more, Le Soir is by far his most diverse offering yet.
And while Atlas hasn’t publicly stated it – not yet, at least – we suspect this EP might very well be the first look at his long-awaited debut album.
“This EP is the first of three different releases,” Atlas tells Atwood Magazine. “It’s something I’m really proud of because it expands my sound a bit more as far as what my music can be perceived as. It’s called Le Soir, and it’s very representative of when I first moved to New York and this chapter of my life.”
He goes on to describe a “personal shift” that spills into his music with a lot more grittiness. “Musically, I’ve always wanted to show different dimensions of who I am as a human being, and I’m doing so,” he smiles.
Following a slew of singles in 2022 (his last EP, QUOTA, came out mid-pandemic in 2021), Atlas pulled inspiration from moments of both movement and stasis for Le Soir, pouring everything from his own big life changes to longstanding anxieties, insecurities, desires, and dreams into songs that feel at once intimate and relatable. He began teasing singles this May with the edgy and in-your-face “Knockin,” a hard-hitting track whose hot-on-the-mic vocals and coarse production were unlike anything he had ever released.
Between my palms
Like an answered prayer
Slipping me an angel stare
Covering my past with a bruise
Feel something new for a night
Frequency’s not something I would buy
Charge it to my piece of mind
Slipping secrets hooked me by surprise
Just like that
Our synergy keeps it knockin
Yeah our synergy keeps it knockin
I got two ways for my Tuesdays to go down
And both ways always end with us cuffin
Are u awake is it too late to come out?
“I think I’m a ~ trial and error, try a bunch of things ‘til it works ~ type of creative person,” Atlas muses. “So I had a bunch of songs, all very different, and the vision was to release them in a way that makes them part of a bigger narrative. These six songs felt experimental in nature, they sonically blend into one another, [making this] the perfect way to start this release cycle because it’ll continue to evolve as I put out more songs from this project.”
“I spearheaded pretty much every aspect of this record, so while it can feel like a departure at times, I think you can make the argument that this is the most me I’ve ever put on display. My first instrument was the drums, and I feel like this record reintroduced some of those roots that felt lost at times with drum machines and programmed instruments.”
To Atlas’ eyes and ears, Le Soir is cinematic, percussive, and heavy.
“Le Soir means ‘the night’ in French, and I grouped these songs together because many of them have a dark undertone,” he explains. “Sometimes a little delirious and disorienting, like the late nights spent on production. The title is a setting, and it leaves room for what happens next.”
“Knockin” is just one of the many highlights off an EP that continually surprises, keeping audiences on our toes the whole way through as Atlas spills his innermost thoughts and feelings in a breathtaking array of wondrous sound. From the tone-setting, minute and a half long intro “Le Soir” and the buoyant, propulsive indie pop reverie “Sushi in Wyoming” to the tantalizing, funk-fueled seduction “Attractive,” the smoldering “SeeThru,” and the achingly intimate and vulnerable “Mom,” Le Soir is a moody, mesmerizing late-night delight.
For Atlas, the highlights on this EP lie mostly in the production nuances. “[It’s the] first time I tracked real drums on a record,” he beams. “Had lots of breakthroughs production-wise. Laughed, cried, everything in-between. It was a journey finishing this one, but I’m really proud of every aspect.”
His favorite lyrics lie in the penultimate track “SeeThru,” a song about his anxiety and drive to make something of himself and be significant in the world: “If it’s just a dream you should know it’s how you make it up, and only you could fake the feeling you construct.”
“It’s a lot, but I feel like this lyric is a reminder for myself,” he says. “I tend to get caught up in comparison and self-worth, but this lyric kind of brings me back down to earth.”
“SeeThru” may provide an emotional anchor for Atlas, but as a whole, Le Soir sends us sky-high and soaring.
Tim Atlas has plunged wholeheartedly and headfirst into the night, and the resulting record is nothing short of spectacular: Fourteen minutes of pure fire, Le Soir is an utterly breathtaking and easily repeatable release that deserves its time to shine in the sun – or, should we say, the moon?
“I hope people can listen to this and feel unapologetic about being themselves,” Atlas shares. “I think I had some reservations about this EP at first because it just felt so different from most songs in my catalogue, but in the end, it was really worth the leap, and I hope it encourages at least one person to pursue what they want without looking back.”
Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Tim Atlas’ Le Soir EP with Atwood Magazine as he takes us track-by-track through the music and lyrics of his new record!
Stream: ‘Le Soir’ – Tim Atlas
:: Inside Le Soir ::
Sushi in Wyoming
This song was inspired by my roadtrip to move from LA to NYC. We drove across the country and stayed in random cities on the way. I literally got sushi in Wyoming because I couldn’t stand another burger, taco, rest stop cuisine situation. And even though we knew there wasn’t a body of water within several several miles, I decided to take my chances on some sushi.
And so this song is basically saying that sometimes having the worst version of something is better than the alternative. Musically, I had just moved to New York and really wanted to try something different. We layered random percussion sounds (tapping on desks/acoustic guitars) and gravitated towards a 6/4 time signature. So this one represents the dimension that I craved as an artist.
“Knockin” has gone through several iterations, but landed in a space that feels as if Pharrell meets The Gorillaz meets Tame Impala. Distorted drums and guitars in the chorus, but the bass line over RnB chords sort of carries us through the verses. This one felt like a wink to early 2000s music.
I was inspired to write a chorus that didn’t use much imagery or metaphor – just a repeating lyric as simple as the thought itself. The track features real drums (played by me), glitchy production elements, but at its core, an RnB melody over a simple chord progression
“SeeThru” is about the anxiety of making something of myself or being significant in the world, but most of those thoughts are a construct I’ve built up in my head as a result of my insecurities & maybe they don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. You create your own nightmares & you choose how to interpret them. Sonically, this one was inspired by Alabama Shakes/The Black Keys.
Without going into too much detail, this one is about my mom and our rocky relationship over the last couple years.
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:: Stream Tim Atlas ::