Over the past five years, LA-based Chicago native Tolliver has never been afraid to go to new and ambitious locations with his music. “Bombay2Japan” is no different, following up May’s “Jimmy” on one of the singer’s most calmly hypnotic singles.


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The song and accompanying music video come back to back with a feature spot on multi-hyphenate TwoLips’ “I Like Attention,” a braggadocious hip-hop track where Tolliver brings an unparalleled off-the-wall presence that overshadows the bass-heavy production.

On the other end, “Bombay2Japan” shows a surprising amount of transformation in Tolliver’s high and low vocals, all while keeping matters relaxed over a futuristic instrumental.

Featuring violinist/composer V.C.R. on backing vocals, the single sucks you in like a black hole with a bass pulsating at the same rate as an increasing heartbeat. Tolliver, not unlike previous material, glides over it with ease, hitting high notes like they’re nothing and dropping one-liners like, “Yes, I studied music / ‘Cause I’ve always hated math.”

What makes “Bombay2Japan” all the more impressive is how everything builds around the tick-tocking drumbeat, catching you by surprise for how intricately put together the production is without calling attention to itself.

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The visuals, equally mesmerizing as the song, feature Tolliver riding on the back of a motorcycle as the two drive through neon tunnels and city lights at breakneck speed. They’re presumably heading to Japan from Bombay, an impossible-to-drive distance made possible through the magic of green screens. Rather than giving the visuals a cheap look, the apparent green screen in question pronounces the song’s already lucid feel and compliments Tolliver’s lost-in-a-daze expressions.

“Bombay2Japan” doesn’t pack the same emotional gut punch his Daddyland EP had, but it didn’t need to. While the EP demonstrated Tolliver as an artist who can balance lighthearted grooves and deeply contemplative lyrics, his recent single shows he can also hop on something more chill for a change.

That’s not to say the song has no meaning. A good amount of shade is thrown in, as he says, “Send it to anyone you’ve left on read.” But wherever he heads next with his music, there’s a good chance it will continue to stun the same everything released so far has.

Words: David Sosa

“Bombay2Japan” by Tolliver is out on all streaming services. For more on new music and live shows, follow him on Instagram and his website.

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