Travis Is A Tourist
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Travis Is A Tourist

Belfast, N Ireland, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Belfast, N Ireland, United Kingdom | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Pop Indie




"Weakdays EP Review"

Editor Mary and I first encountered Belfast singer/songwriter Travis is a Tourist in a rather fortunate coincidence at SXSW 2014, where he performed both on his own and with fellow Northern Irish artist RAMS’ Pocket Radio. Travis is a Tourist, who is known offstage as Travis Gilbert, has been steadily on the TGTF radar since then, with an appearance at Liverpool Sound City 2014 and now, after more than a year’s wait, a new EP release titled ‘Weakdays’.

The EP’s title is thought-provoking, even before you hear a single note of the music. The tweaked spelling of ‘weekdays’ implies an unsettled feeling, a sense of restlessness and anticipation. Musically, the songs on the EP reflect that sentiment by way of wistful guitar melodies, lingering vocal lines, and perpetual rhythmic motion, while thematically the effect is achieved through the direct, concise emotional impact of Gilbert’s introspective lyrics. Gilbert’s restrained vocal delivery is key to the reflective nature of the songs, and the slight roughness in his singing voice is perfectly modulated to the mood of the music.

‘Weakdays’ opens with a frank and self-revelatory track called ‘Tourist’, whose initial line is a strong statement of intent: “For those who don’t know, I’ve always had a fascination with leaving home”. Melancholy and resigned, the song still retains a confident sense of determination and pace that sets the tone for the rest of the EP. (Gilbert also wins points here with a reference to one of my personal favourite Counting Crows songs in the opening verse.)

The EP’s first single ‘Loosen Up’, which you can download for free for a limited time from Gilbert’s SoundCloud, is a slow burner with a languorous opening verse and a quick, shuffling chorus that will make your heart skip a beat. The simple refrain is warmly memorable, more of a reassuringly whispered mantra than a boldly declared motto, with a repeated bridge section echoing beneath the final repeat. The song was premiered on The Thin Air last week and has already received radio play on BBC Radio Ulster’s Across the Line as that program’s Track for the Day #175.

‘Getting Close’ opens with a chugging muted guitar under the evocative lyrical hook, “evening crept in, just as afternoon had wore thin” before growing into an expansively melodic chorus. Despite its fretful title, ‘Worry’ is uptempo and energetic throughout, with blissed out vocal layers in its chorus, “don’t worry about the morning sun / don’t worry, it’ll still be there when you get up”.

The EP closes, appropriately, with the austere arrangement of ‘Loud’, which exemplifies Travis is a Tourist’s fundamental sound, distilled down to the raw emotional power of a single guitar and Gilbert’s intensely understated vocals before layering strings and backing vocals in the repeated chorus. Gilbert has wisely resisted the temptation to overproduce the songs on this EP, choosing instead to highlight his best assets, namely the fine grit of his singing voice and his honest, uncomplicated approach to songwriting.

8/10 - There Goes The Fear


To mark 'the beginning of a musical adventure to America' the Menagerie, Belfast plays host to the 'Stop, Collaborate and Listen' gig night on 27th February.

Shauna Tohill, Travis Gilbert, Katie Richardson, Richard Hill, Thomas Camblin and Grace Loughry are travelling to Nashville to 'collaborate, record and soak up the musical heritage' of the city in March.

The Menageria gig will feature the band's of each of the artists heading to the U.S. Shauna Tohill, Travis is a Tourist, Goldie Fawn and The Salt Flats. In the spirit of collaboration the musicians will form one band to perform each others songs on the night, before they head to the US the following week. As well as Nashville the trip takes in Memphis and Dallas before making the journey to Austin, Texas for the South by South West festival. Video and audio footage will document their time collaborating together. - BBC

"HMV Review"

Since the break-up of his band Colly Strings, Holywood singer-songwriter Travis Gilbert has carved a niche of earnest, confident folk-pop under the name Travis Is A Tourist. He has announced the release of his second EP Weakdays for July 6, and it promises to “marry the robust rock of artists such as Ryan Adams with a slice of Prince-esque R’n’B”.

Those unlikely bedfellows actually make quite a lot of sense having heard the impressive lead single Loosen Up, which sounds ready-made for summer cruising with the roof down – rolled-up jacket sleeves optional. Melodies, harmonies and slinky guitar licks are the order of the day here. - HMV


Still working on that hot first release.



In a land and age increasingly over-saturated with every conceivable ilk and fashion of singer-songwriter, Travis Gilbert AKA Travis Is A Tourist manages to carve his own path of folk-pop, one imbued with a real, almost touchable sense of purpose. 

The follow-up to his ear-grabbing 2013 debut EP, Gilbert released the five-track Weakdays on July 6, a release defined by Gilbert’s wonderfully crafted admissions of open-eyed restlessness, doubt and destiny. The EP’s lead single ‘Loosen Up’ distils the essence of Weakdays across three and a half minutes of fleshed-out, subtly anthemic folk-pop.

In 'Tourist', a song born out of Gilbert's yearning to travel the world - he states "I've always had a fascination with leaving home". This determination has already seen him collaborating with award winning songwriters in Nashville, performing on patios and porches in Austin, and filling bars, clubs and living rooms, of friends and fellow restless spirits, across the UK and Ireland.

Band Members