Friday 3 May 2013


Tropics - oh my goodness, gosh golly my oh my and everything to that extent. All interjectory words all at once. He's good. Very good. I've written about him before, with his song 'Popup Cinema', an older ditty called 'Mouves' and also I recorded their set at Glastonbury in 2011. Long time fan of Tropics - aka Chris Ward - so you see.

From start to finish, this is a genuinely fab record to listen to, and one that is definitely suiting England's belated and rather gradual slip into summer. First listened to this driving alongside the River Thames in the evening with the sun just teetering above the horizon - the perfect soundtrack I gotta say. And from the very first I heard of Tropics like 2 years ago till now, the quality and clarity and direction of the music has increased - not to say that the old stuff was bad, no way in fact. Just gets better and better is what I mean. And hearing more of Chris's voice, which I dunno why he was hiding in the first place, is nice too.

But what is the 'this' that I speak of? It's Tropics's's new Home & Consonance EP. Beginning with the achingly nostalgic and brimming-with-heartache title track - 'Home & Consonance' duh - and it storms ahead with a rolling beat, blanketed with smooth vocals and gentle-gentle keyboards, dreamlike in their solo form towards the end. Get started listening yo:

We move onto the bass explosion of 'Courage', a slow-down house affair fringed with romance - more lovely vocals and additional sultry crooning provided by the LA-based Gavin Turek. Lovely drawn-out solo synths here make my skin hot up. A medley of passion and should-have-done-this vibe here. Broken beats joined with stuttering hi-hats abound in next track 'Don't You Know', whose jazz/lounge sounds are like glitter on glue atop a profusion of soulful vocal samples and lung-expanding synths. The EP ends with 'Fleeting Haunt', a midtempo tune pockmarked with a catchy vocal "ooo-ooo"; there is at its core the same absolute heartfelt chillment as lies at the core of all songs that came before it. Vocals slip in and out from the abundance of lush sound scenery and there's this lovely break in the beat where the synth rises up like a tide of electricity at a beach of polished tiles and cocktail-built huts.

As you might be able to tell, I really dig this EP. It sounds lovely. Builds on a foundation of luscious sounds, easy beats, chilled melodies and emotive vocals that all the songs include. Empty and full at the same time. V v v v v nice.

There's a really super cool live rendition. Chris Ward himself said: "So recently I went back to my late grandparents' house where last year I wrote the Home & Consonance EP. The band joined me and the guys from It Drew Itself were kind enough to record us performing a song."

Fresh and tasty. Love the drummer's t-shirt also.

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