New video: T.O.L.D
There’s mysticism at work with The Order of Life and Death — T.O.L.D. — weaving through producer Daniel James’ esoteric songwriting on his debut album, It’s Not About The Witches, beckoning you to follow. Through the religious synths, steel drums and sweeping melodies of his savvy new age anthems, James conjures an incorporeal honesty in divine composition and clear-eyed verse.
The 25-year-old British transplant to Los Angeles has been experimenting with pop music since pre-pubescence, self-releasing and collaborating throughout his years in the Birmingham and London underground scenes. Well acquainted with standard pop songs, as T.O.L.D. he’s developed his perspective and found liberation with a canvas so often distinguished by the banal and cliché.
“Pop is a tool,” he says. “It’s a frame in which I can create, and I’ve found the frame keeps getting bigger.”
Alongside classic soul, old-school hip-hop and modern electronica production, on It’s Not About The Witches James equally notes the influence of esoteric philosophers in the songs’ creation. Through the set, the lush recordings sweep over with choral backing and a natural blend of organic and synthetic instrumentation forming a groundswell, lifting his pining tenor with peaceful wonder. Just as many have found in hymns, chanting, or the meditative repetition of mantras before, there is an overwhelming sense of abreaction. “I tend to separate my music from my thinking,” he says. “It’s a more pure emotional release, rather than an intelligent one. There’s a place for all that thought; song is a better channel for expression than explanation.”
T.O.L.D’s It’s Not About The Witches featuring the debut single “Return Forever” will be out May 27th on IAMSOUND Records.