We have been following local indie pop rock act The Tropics since spring, so we were excited to hear about the release of debut EP Wind House. With Wind House the five piece band is finally releasing more of the songs we saw live in July, which led to us calling them one of SF’s most promising young pop acts. Last Friday, they took the stage at The Rickshaw Stop for their official record release party playing songs off the EP and a few yet-to-be-released tracks I assume are coming on their full album release.
The Tropics were born when singer Claire George and guitarist Eric Silverman responded to a Craigslist ad for an unrelated band, but soon found they had more in common with each other than the band they were trying to join. In 2012, they added current members Nate Skelton on bass, Rowan Peter on guitar, and Kern Sigala on drums for the full sound we hear today.
When I saw The Tropics back in July, I remember having some trepidation because their single “Sleepless” was the only music I could find online. With the release of Wind House via Breakup Records, we get to see that there is some dynamic songwriting and instrumentation in the band, beyond just one single. With it, they are taking the next step in their evolution as a band.
The record begins with “Fireproof,” the second single after “Sleepless.” With a driving snare beat and vocals that harmonize with the guitar melodies, the song is unapologetically fun. It’s one of the most danceable songs in the live set as well. I also can’t talk about “Fireproof” without mentioning the amazing video they made which nearly mirrors Marky Mark’s “Good Vibrations” video shot for shot.
The next track is “Sons and Daughters,” which is noticeably more brooding than “Fireproof.” It is heavily influenced by psychedelic rock during the verses and features a reverb heavy section with both guitars soloing toward the end. During the choruses The Tropics bring the song back to a pop core, creating a consistent feel with the rest of the album.
As I mentioned above, the single “Sleepless” was the only way to hear the group outside of live performances for a long time. It is an intriguing song that bounces along with quick hitting guitar riffs, horns and airy vocals. For the record release party The Tropics kicked it up and notch and were joined by a trumpet, trombone and sax player for “Sleepless.”
Like “Sons and Daughters,” the track “You I Want” shows off some of the breadth of musical influences that go into their songwriting. Featuring distinctly folk rhythms and lo-fi vocals, it almost feels like an evocation to another local act, CCR.
The EP concludes with “The New King of California,” anchored by a huge chorus which has George harmonizing with the band. Overall, it leaves me anticipating what they can do with a full length album. I am not sure what to expect with the variety of influence they draw upon. Friday proved that they not only have some great music to share, but that they know how to get a live audience excited and dancing. Can’t wait to see whats next for The Tropics.