Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Indietronica is all grown up as Is Tropical Return with third LP

"Black Anything"

Release date: 11 March 2016
Is tropical 2014 artwork
14 March 2016, 15:05 Written by Kate Travers
When you think of Is Tropical, what comes to mind is probably one of couple of break out singles, released circa 2011 (“South Pacific”, “The Greeks”), and the vague memory of some guys with bandanas tied around their faces. But don’t be so hasty…

Is Tropical have come a long way since their early, half-hearted attempts to create mystique around the group. The manic energy of new rave, indietronica or whatever you want to call the sound of Kitsuné Maison circa 2009, has been displaced by a fresh, sleek aesthetic.

Having parted ways with Kitsuné and officially welcomed vocalist Kirstie Fleck to the group, the band have seemingly embarked upon a new era in their careers — and, on Black Anything, the group’s third LP, it has yielded fruitful results. This album, recorded across five continents, is the product of some serious creative introspection.

“Lights On”, the album’s opener, is restrained in the best possible way; it plays subtle electronic percussion off against Dom Apa’s drum-kit, throws Fleck’s vocals against her male counterparts, over a steadily building swell of synth.

Though “Crawl” — which sits squarely in the synth-pop camp, with its house beats and overdrive guitar — seems like a classic Is Tropical cut, it’s tracks like “Cruise Control” which really make the LP come alive. With a hint of afro-beat guitars and Fleck’s vocals taking centre stage, the track is a sleek meditation on disaffection and disconnection.

“Fall” is the kind of sing-along indie anthem that makes you aware, for a moment, that the group has its origins in the days of landfill indie, a fact that seemed all too evident on 2013's I’m Leaving. But this is an aberration in an LP full of sophisticated tracks which prove that Is Tropical are going places.

The album’s closer, “What You Want” makes a subdued and alluring promise: “I can give you what you want”. On this LP, Is Tropical make you want to believe that’s true.

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