Feature: Is Tropical, Competition

Is Tropical. 2010 has been the year for Bandana-wearing punk-pop-electro. Having toured with Egyptian Hip Hop, Good Shoes and The Big Pink early in the year, Is Tropical then spent the summer recording their as-yet untitled debut album, signed for Kitsuné and then supported The Mystery Jets in their late Autumn UK tour. On 22 November they released the Kitsuné debut single South Pacific, and it’s a track that captures a summery, optimistic feeling in-keeping with the tracks name, the season it was created, and the growing momentum of the band.

Light, semi-glitchy and ultra low-fi beats, even the vocals are sketchy, giving the track, along with its jaunty synth lines, a childlike, innocent, unpolished feeling. There’s an ethereal, dream-like quality that makes it very easy to conjure images of sun, sea and sand, brightness and optimism. For a November release, this is about as summery as it gets.

South Pacific is backed up by the more muscular, riff-driven Tan Man, a track in the vain of some of Soulwax’s finest dance-rock crossovers. Punked-up fuzz and bounce, Tan Man shows the heavier, tighter side of Is Tropical. Live, they are exuberant, driven by their physical performance as much as their riffs, and it’s this aspect of the band that Tan Man showcases.

Singles these days are always padded out with a few remixes Рa tactic employed quite rightly to increase the value of the product in a time when physical sales are dwindling. The remixes here are largely throw-away Рa very Kitsun̩ sounding Database remix is danceable enough, but the Peaces remix is four minutes of nothingness. The Get People remix is worth its salt, however Рa slice of housey trance that reworks the atmosphere of the original with great results.

Expect to hear more from Is Tropical next year Рwith Kitsun̩ now backing their debut album, and the tunes, live show and bemasked mystery to back it up, these boys should go from strength to strength.


Now, we’ve got the single to give away! If you want to get your hands on it, answer me this question: what was the first Kitsuné compilation, and in what year was it originally released? The first person with the right answer here, on Twitter or on Facebook will get the single! Winner revealed tomorrow.

James TAE

By James TAE

James TAE is a Music and Tech Journalist, Editor for Spotisfaction, and writer for God Is In The TV and London Tour Dates magazine. Follow him @James_TAE

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