Tolliver is a soul singer born and raised in the Midwest, cornfed and churchified. He’s spent years playing in Stax-inspired boozy bar bands, including Black Diet, an act that won best new bands honors from damn near every Minneapolis publication and filmed a nationally syndicated PBS special at the end of 2014.
His first solo EP, Quartertone, was written and recorded with Chilean producer Lister Rossell, an acclaimed beatsmith and sound designer who’s worked with singers from London to South Africa. The EP was a blistering indictment of American greed, Tolliver’s attempt at a modern What’s Going On?
Tolliver packed up for Los Angeles just after that release in hopes of escaping the crippling cold and making his best record yet. He got his wish in the form of Rave Deep, an EP about years spent depressed and high, self-exiled from family and desperate for love.
Elephant and Castle, who produced and co-wrote the EP, is signed to Plug Research, and has worked with Tune-Yards, dd_elle, Naytronix, and a host of other genre-bending, pocket-stretching r&b influenced acts.
Tolliver found Elephant and Castle via Craigslist; he’s actually found most collaborators there, gems in a sea of not gems. They’re currently working on a full-length that will expand their sound to include gospel harmonies, murky chords and macabre lyrics.
"A beautiful falsetto can stop you in your tracks and make the hairs on your body feel like bayonets. It almost sounds unholy, as though someone’s hitting notes that only animals with hyper-sensitive hearing should be able to hear. Wild Beasts, Anthony, and Shamir are three of the most adept at floating effortlessly. It’s probably time to add Tolliver to that category."-Jeff Weiss, LA Weekly/Passion of the Weiss
"The EP is a minimalist dream, seductively soulful and sparse-- offering a retrospective on failed relationships and a cynical gateway into future R&B."-Sarah Stanley-Ayre, City Pages Minneapolis
"The EP features Tolliver’s falsetto flying over burbling electronic tracks, miles away both musically and thematically from the buoyant soul of Tolliver’s band Black Diet."-Aaron Bolton, Minnesota Public Radio/The Current