Wednesday, June 09, 2021

The Tropicanas Solidify their Brand of Surf Rock as they Dive into Summer with New Release ‘Calypso Kool’

Historically, West Lothian band The Tropicanas have shown a penchant for artistic dichotomy. Their name, for example, acts as an ironic nod to Scotland’s typically bleak weather. Therefore, it isn’t surprising that the band looks to juxtapose their trademark laidback nostalgia with elements of abstract lyricism and experimental guitar effects on their latest single ‘Calypso Kool’.

Although The Tropicanas are no stranger to the sonic tropes of sixties surf rock or eighties jangle pop, with each release the band have incorporated new aspects into their sound. Take this year’s double single ‘Your Man on the Moon/Shooting Star’ and its warm subtle hints of Spanish classical guitar or the slightly harder and funkier approach found on their 2018 EP ‘A Lovely Coincidence’.


While ‘Calypso Kool’ sees a departure from these sonic ventures, the single is consistent with the band’s embrace of lo-fi recording. Producer Cameron Cullen, from the techno outfit Hi & Saberhägen, not only excellently accommodates to the band’s DIY sound palette but also provides adequate space for the sweet jangly guitars and airy vocals to shine.


Cullen’s neat production is felt immediately as the song opens with a riff akin to the latest Turnover record. The guitar is as equally sharp and treble heavy as it is awash in reverb while the steadiness of the bass and drums ensure you are in for a smooth ride.


The lyrics explore distorted perceptions of reality and denial through the song’s main character describing him as “Calypso Kool/Scumbag chic” and stating that he “Just won’t accept/That the playground’s closed”. Although the link to the Greek mythos of Calypso is tenuous, the song’s lyrical ambiguities are well balanced with a dependable bass line and jittery chords infused with chorus.


The track is accompanied with a music video made by the band themselves. It carries the nostalgic feel of the song within its imagery, taking clips from the sixty’s television show ‘Speedracer’.


Together, ‘Calypso Kool’ and its music video encapsulate a general feeling of uncertainty and hope as the world looks on to brighter days this summer. The EP is set to release on the 27th August.



Moni Lerpiniere

Instagram : moni_lerpiniere

Twitter : monilerpiniere

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