Gothic Tropic Demonstrate Their Versatility on Fast or Feast
The long-awaited debut of Los Angeles’ Cecilia Della Peruti’s project, Gothic Tropic, has finally arrived. And the result is a perfect cross between indie and pop music that avoids ever feeling overtly generic. Fast or Feast is a cohesive 10-song LP, ripping Peruti’s hurting soul out of its body for her fans’ listening pleasure. The raw heartache Gothic Tropic has tapped into translates into one of the most exceptional indie releases of the new year.
Gothic Tropic, a trio formed in 2011, describe their music as ’70s indie pop; but such a broad description doesn’t do the group justice. They, indeed, are heavily influenced by ’70s music, ranging from funk to psychedelic rock. Peruti also pays homage to specific sub-genres of indie, such as lo-fi, while managing to keep a distinct, yet subtle, tone in her voice that guides listeners through the whole album. Gothic Tropic is reminiscent of bands like Tame Impala and Warpaint, yet their sound is entirely their own, one which Peruti and her band mates – Brad Bowers and Rhys Hastings – have worked hard to craft.
Gothic Tropic follow in the footsteps of girl-rock powerhouses like Ladyhawke, while mixing in tones that almost sound like they were influenced by a 1980s Madonna. They took HAIM or CHVRCHES’ approach towards pop and made it far less cheesy. Every guitar riff flows, making Fast or Feast a definitive LP to bump in 2017. It can be played in the car during a commute and could be any girl’s anthem for the year. The music is upbeat, catchy, airy and very real. The lyrics accessible, yet stark, perfectly complementing the particular artistry that the band has crafted.
Fast or Feast also showcases the versatility of Peruti as a lyricist. Whoever hurt her inspired her to write some strikingly sentimental music. While there are no lyrics that point to any issues aside from heartbreak, Peruti’s words are empowering to women everywhere. The first song, “Stronger,” aims to propel someone past the end of a relationship. “How Life Works” and “Teenage Behavior” touch base on Peruti’s problems as an individual, while she continues to move on and get better. The very last song on the LP, “Feed You to the Sharks,” is a slow outro with a brazen message: don’t mess with women. “I will feed you to the sharks, I will hold your tongue in front of you,” croons Peruti, against subdued guitars. Needless to say, it takes Peruti until the last song to reach this point, showing that this album embodies her grieving process.
Fast or Feast is quite enticing, each song resonating with the listener. A huge problem with indie pop is that it often can become vacuous and repetitive; but Gothic Tropic seem to have every waking aspect of the genre down. It becomes clear that the time Peruti spent touring with artists like BØRNS, Ryan Adams, Charli XCX and others has benefited her craft immensely.
Gothic Tropic will be on tour supporting Kate Nash this coming February. The Fast or Feast LP can be pre-ordered through their label, Old Flame Records. (There are only 500 copies available worldwide, in both vinyl and CD digipack form.) Although they are touring the U.K. next month, Gothic Tropic are natives of Echo Park, Los Angeles, so when they’re back in town, make sure to catch a performance.