Stream: Tolliver, ‘Jimmy’
Kevin Bronson on
Chicago native Jonathan Tolliver — just Tolliver where people are dancing — mixes funk, R&B and pop into musical party favors with a serious side.
Tolliver’s first two EPs (in 2018 and 2020) skirted the edges of both traditional and alt-R&B, but working with producer Jake Bowman (Kendrick Lamar, Ryan Beatty, Burna Boy) and percussionist Teddy Roxpin, he found both conceptual and musical virtuosity on last year’s “Daddyland” EP.
The backstory is notable: Tolliver is the son of a preacher/choir singer, who died when he was 11. As he matured, the singer-songwriter worried what his father would think of his lifestyle — “a broke, gay, super-hot musician” — before reconnecting with his brother and learning his pops was no angel himself. So the songs on “Daddyland” comprise what he calls “a letter to his father from the void.”
Fast-forward to this month, and Tolliver released his first new single since, “Jimmy,” in advance of a residency at the Goldfish (two weeks remain) and summer shows with Gavin Turek and as part of the Levitt L.A. summer concerts series.
In Tolliver’s Rick James-meets-WAR-meets-Andre 3000 world, this one is more James. “Who says that ain’t perfect?” he asks, putting a smile on your face, a bounce in your step and making you feel good about whatever you’re wearing.
||| Stream: “Jimmy”
||| Also: Watch the video for “Call Me a Freak”
||| Live: Tolliver performs tonight (tickets) and May 25 (tickets) at the Goldfish as part of his May residency. Tolliver also opens for Gavin Turek at the Peppermint Club on July 6 (tickets). He also plays a free show on Friday, July 7, at Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles.
||| Also: Stream “Daddyland” in its entirety
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