PREMIERE: Tim Atlas Makes Social Anxiety Sound Like a Dream with “Sidestep”

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Tim Atlas contains both the familiarity of a childhood friend, and the talent of an indie icon. The LA-based artist got his start with music in his school’s marching band, teaching himself guitar among his talents for photography and sound engineering. His breakout moment as a solo artist came in 2015, when Gwen Stefani recruited him for her team on The Voice, where he was later stolen by Pharrell Williams. Though he was eliminated before the finale, Atlas proved himself to be more than a contestant on a talent show with his 2016 single “Compromised,” which is sitting at over 14 million streams on Spotify alone. His 2018 EP, All Talk!, created a lot of buzz and led Atlas to booking his own European tour. He’s back with the first single from his forthcoming EP, “Sidestep,” a statement about social anxiety wrapped in a dreamy, upbeat package.

A listen to “Sidestep” without processing the lyrics gives the impression of a hazy, sunkissed day without a care in the world. Entirely self-written and produced, Atlas pairs the cheery track with descriptions of his struggles with social anxiety, a polarization that gives the single soul. He comments on the meaning behind the song, saying,

“‘Sidestep” is about feeling drained after social interactions. Sometimes I facilitate a conversation, and I feel the need to start pulling from anything I can to try and accommodate the other person’s comfortability. It exhausts me, and eventually, I start to avoid those situations as much as possible–A.K.A be a hermit & binge Netflix shows.

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Atlas features funked out guitar licks, and mirrors the melody of the chorus with instrumentation an octave above his vocals, creating a lighthearted and textured sound. He effortlessly reaches every part of his voice, effectively blending it into the mix as an instrument of its own. The final chorus doubles, featuring a stripped down version before sending the last into orbit with shimmering full-bodied sound.

Want to see Tim Atlas live? Check him out at one of the dates below and be sure to keep an eye out for his forthcoming EP.

October 11: Pianos, NYC

October 22: New Music Monday @ the Ned, Soho, London

October 23: Supporting Steve Appleton @ The Hoxton Square and Kitchen, London

October 25: The Source, Live Nation new Music programme @ The Old Blue Last, London

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