The Tropics, Take You Home

Indie popsters The Tropics have been one of the most buzzworthy local acts in recent months with the release of their brilliant Wind House EP last October. Riding the wave of momentum created by that release, the San Francisco-based quintet is back with an irresistible new single, “Take You Home”, on Breakup Records, as well as a SF-centric video for the track.

I recently chatted with guitarist Eric Silverman over email, discussing everything from the band’s newly-announced Noise Pop gig opening for Cathedrals at The Independent (the show is already sold out), the new track and video, and their release party tomorrow night at Rickshaw Stop, when they’ll be opening for Swedish electropop sensation Tove Styrke. Below, read our exchange, watch the “Take You Home” video, and get full details on both of The Tropics’ upcoming shows. Buy your copy of “Take You Home” on Bandcamp.

The Bay Bridged: Congratulations on the Noise Pop gig. You’ll be supporting Cathedrals for the first of their two nights at the Independent. What’s more exciting – getting your slot on the Noise Pop bill, or knowing that the show is already sold-out and you’ll be playing to a packed house?

Eric Silverman: Thanks – we’re so excited! Playing Noise Pop has always been a dream of ours, and the prospect of playing to a full house is just icing on the cake.

TBB: If I’m not mistaken, this will be the first time you’ve played The Independent. I presume you’ve seen shows there before – are you looking forward to playing there for the first time, and what’s the best show you’ve seen there as a fan?

ES: This will be the first time we play the Independent, but we have all seen so many great shows there. Claire saw Jungle there last month, which was great; Eric was there on Halloween for Aaron Freeman (from Ween); Nate’s favorite was Levon Helm at the Outside Lands after party and he claims it to be his favorite show of all time.

TBB: Your new single “Take You Home” officially drops Friday before your show with Tove Styrke at Rickshaw Stop, marking your first new music since the Wind House EP, which just came out in October of last year. How did this new project come about – why did you decide to release this track (and its video) now, so closely on the heels of the EP?

ES: We actually recorded this one at the same time as Wind House, but decided to leave it off the main release. It’s available on the vinyl version as a bonus track but we felt like it would stand so well on its own as a single. It’s a fun song and it felt like a solid follow up to the record.

TBB: “Take You Home” sounds as though it features something that I don’t think we’ve heard on a previous Tropics’ song – horns. Whose idea was the addition of horns, and did you have any guest musicians in the studio for this one?

ES: The horns were all Patrick Brown’s idea. There are actually a couple songs with horn parts on the record but they are definitely a main focus for this song. Pat brought up the idea of adding horns pretty early on, so Nate called some of his buddies into the studio (Barry Gilbrech, Chris Talbot, and Brad Martens). We had this amazing three piece section learning the songs and tracking at the same time. It was all really spontaneous and added a ton of energy to the song.

TBB: The video for “Take You Home” shows a series of shots from around SF (more particularly, Bernal Heights) interspersed with shots from one of the band’s recent shows at Brick & Mortar. How did you get hooked up with director Frank Door, and what was the creative process like for the video?

ES: We met Frank through Different Fur. He’s great to work with because he’s open to new ideas and has a good sense of how to make a video fit a song. Frank also made our last video, “Fireproof”, a shot-for-shot remake of the Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch’s “Good Vibrations” video, so we knew working together would be great. We wanted the video to have a live feel and to have it show our personalities and dynamic as a group. Frank – using only Go Pros – definitely tuned into the mood of the song and did an excellent job.

TBB: The track is undeniably catchy, lush indie pop with jangly guitars and a hepped up rhythm section. Have you broken it out live before, or will Friday’s show be the first?

ES: We closed with it at our record release show – with the horn section playing with us. The room had a great energy and we definitely plan on playing it at our show Friday.

Tove Styrke, The Tropics, GNTLMN, plus popscene DJs
Rickshaw Stop
January 16, 2015
8pm, $12–14 (18+)

Cathedrals, The Tropics, Crashing Hotels, DJ Turf-Yard
The Independent
February 27, 2015
8pm, SOLD OUT (21+)