By Marty Mulrooney
Tristan Clopet is a Toronto-born/Miami-based indie singer songwriter. Following two successful EPs (Duende in 2009 and Purple in 2010), Clopet recently released his debut LP, ‘Name It What You Want’, working with seasoned record producers Raymond Richards (Local Natives) and Justin Gerrish (Vampire Weekend) to create a ten-track album to be proud of.
Name It What You Want is an LP full of surprises. The first track ‘A Summer In Sussex’ is the perfect opening number, featuring mellow guitars and twinkling piano notes as Clopet confidently transitions back and forth between loudly proclaimed utterances and gentle whispers, the lyrics coming thick and fast. A fine song as it is, it then goes the extra mile for the final chorus, offering a catchy repeated chant worthy of ‘Hey Jude’ by The Beatles. “Back back back back back in the place where I belong. Long long long long long time coming but I’m going home.”
‘A Chat With My Brain’ further solidifies Clopet as king of the catchy choruses. Instances of the words “Somedays, somedays, somedays, somedays, I don’t know how I go I don’t know how I go I don’t know why I try” are plentiful and thoroughly welcome throughout. Elsewhere, ‘Idiosyncrasies of the Resolute’ aches the heart as it builds up to a breathtaking blend of guitars and drums that merge to perfection with a vocal performance that comes seemingly from nowhere, Clopet delivering admirable range without needless tinkering. For some reason, it reminded me of old-school U2. In a good way.
The musical similarities to other artists don’t stop there either. The overall sound of ‘Fife and Drum’ immediately brings to mind Billy Talent – although perhaps lighter and certainly more refined – with some Red Hot Chili Peppers thrown in for good measure. The music itself has obviously been intricately interwoven with the lyrics of each song, brass sections and more traditional guitar and percussion simply adding to the rich soundscape rather than smothering it. Clopet is a true musician in the broadest sense of the word; the attention to detail on each track is staggering, especially for an indie release. ‘Toutes Directions’ needs to be snapped up for a car advert, pronto.
Tip my cap to the old ladies on the street as I pass And they smile back at me
Walking through the town aroma fills the air Reminds me of my home across the sea
Been two years to the day Since I moved to this place (Where will I)
See the sign in my head Toutes directions to the end (Go from here)
Name It What You Want is already my favourite music release this year. Although it is filled to the brim with many musical influences, Tristan Clopet has managed to create a unique sound that is unmistakably his, and his alone. His lyrics are poignant and insightful, his vocals bittersweet and dynamic, his band perfectly in sync at all times. Name It What You Want? Best indie album of 2011.
9 OUT OF 10
Name It What You Want is also Pay What You Want! Listen to the whole album for free at www.tristanclopet.com