“This album has been a long time coming,” says John Splithoff. “I guess you could call it a slow burn.”
Recorded in both New York and Los Angeles, ‘All In,’ Splithoff’s invigorating debut, has indeed been brewing for quite some time now, and its release this year marks the culmination of nearly a decade of highs and lows, victories and defeats, breakthroughs and setbacks. Building off a series of hit singles that have racked up more than 100 million streams, cracked the Top 10 at AC radio, and earned Splithoff festival slots everywhere from Bonnaroo to Lollapalooza, the collection is bold and self-assured, mixing intoxicating R&B swagger with soulful introspection and dazzling harmonic sophistication. Splithoff writes to make sense of himself and his world, and though the record was completed before the arrival of COVID-19, it feels particularly fitting for the times, grappling with loneliness and isolation in the face of longing and desire. The songs are subtle in their personal reckonings, often masking deep, profound revelations with playful, effervescent arrangements, and Splithoff’s performances are similarly complex, exuding both a carefree independence and a burning need for connection all at once. It’s a conflicted album for a conflicted moment, a rich, mesmerizing collection that hints at everything from Marvin Gaye to John Mayer as it transforms doubt into determination and self-reflection into celebration.
Sometimes, it seems, a slow burn yields the brightest fire.