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Gothic Tropic: Bummer in the summer

Monday 16th, February 2015 / 12:56
By James Olson
Existing on two planes at once, LA’s Gothic Tropic are both deeply introspective and highly danceable. Photo: Cara Robbins

Existing on two planes at once, LA’s Gothic Tropic are both deeply introspective and highly danceable.
Photo: Cara Robbins

VANCOUVER — A bone-chilling breeze cuts through a sunny day at the beach. Sitting by the resort bar quietly dreading the impending end of the tropical vacation. Riding a wave while tripping out on some bad acid. Gothic Tropic coast along a fine line between light and dark, playful yet introspective, there’s is surf music for those who know there’s unfortunately more to life than just fun in the Sun. Hailing from the Golden State, the trio of vocalist/guitarist Cecilla Della Peruti, bassist Daniel Denton, and drummer Rheese Detrow are set to release their first full-length within the next few months and have already generated a following after their first few years of existence.

Every member of Gothic Tropic comes from a rich background of musical experience, such experience lending itself well to the songwriting process. “Gothic Tropic is a haven for me as far as songwriting goes, so the point is that I’m not too influenced by what’s going on outside of it,” says Della Peruti. “I had no idea people would start listening to this band, and now there are expectations which is fair, but I intentionally let this project be very free-flow, and natural, which is why most of the songs come out of improvising.”

Della Peruti performs professionally as a touring auxiliary and on television while Daniel Denton has collaborated with Chelsea Wolfe and Ben Chrisholm, among others. Denton’s work with Gothic Tropic is especially notable, as his fluid bass work has added depth and versatility to the band’s sound. Della Peruti agrees: “Daniel brings a lot of the progressive dark melodies to the table, and he’s able to make a bass part into a top line which is something I haven’t seen often at all. He has a knack for creating hypnotizing bass loops.”

Della Peruti and Denton both come from Echo Park originally, a suburb of LA that the band has recently relocated to. Della Peruti admits that Gothic Tropic stand as relative outliers to the sounds that are being conjured in their area. “I think we have a different sound that what’s locally happening. Echo Park is producing a lot of washy vintage soft punk, and I love it, but I don’t think we sound like that. We’re a little more aggressive and progressive which isn’t necessarily product of our environment” Peruti explains, “As native LA people – me and Daniel – it sounds more like what LA means to us. I’m from the valley, and there’s a lot of darkness there despite popular belief.”

Within this last year, Gothic Tropic welcomed Rheese Detrow into the fold. Meeting the drummer through pure happenstance, Della Peruti is nothing but enthusiastic about what he has brought to the band: “He’s a great listener and knows exactly what a song needs, he’s a really appropriate drummer which is a huge talent in itself. And then technically, he’s jazz trained and can literally play anything. I recommended him to one of my side jobs and they hired him on the spot, so now we’re playing together in two projects.”

Building upon their first EP Awesome Problems along with the “Underwater Games”/ “Bird of Prey” single, new album FASTorFEAST will bring together all the disparate elements of Gothic Tropic’s sound in a cohesive fashion. “The record has a duality, like Gothic Tropic does. There are songs that make you want to party and songs that are more introspective, so you’ll hear that and it will sound very much like a story. ‘Underwater Games’ and ‘Bird of Prey’ was more like an interlude, and very ambient in comparison to the LP, which is arranged more like a pop record,” Della Peruti supplies. With a tentative release date planned for late spring/early summer, FASTorFEAST promises to deliver those sweet melancholic vibes perfect for a freak tropical thunderstorm.

Gothic Tropic perform at Electric Owl on February 24.

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