June 18, 2010

CD Review: Tristan Clopet - Purple EP

“But do they know what they want?  / Could they heed what they need?  / Would they pull the knife out  / or continue to bleed?” - Ethereal Evidence

Tristan Clopet
Purple EP
Sussex Recordings

Those who follow my writing know that I’ve got a thing for Austin music. I don’t often review folks who live too far outside the ATX city limits. Not because I don’t think there’s great music outside Texas, it’s just there’s such a wealth of Austin bands who need to be heard. I’ve even got a mission this year where I’m reviewing 52 Austin CDs in 52 Weeks. That mission alone has got me not listening to much other than Austin bands.

That said, a few months ago Miami-based musician Tristan Clopet reached out to me and sent me his Purple EP and a t-shirt. Maybe it was his persistence of getting hold of me (he touched base with me about 3 times before I replied), maybe it was the t-shirt that made me want to listen… but either way I’m glad I did.

Purple EP is a quick 25-minute introduction to this rock-based funk man. He sings with a conviction that seems much more mature than his 23 years. Lyrically, Clopet marries a funk flow with mindful commentary and questions about life. And musically he can bring the funk but also knows when to pull the reigns back and garner a more singer-songwriter sound.

To the songs. “Proximity Bomb” and “Ethereal Evidence” both have an early Red Hot Chili Peppers vibe to it. I can almost hear Anthony Kiedis delivering the vocals. “So Alive” brings in a laid-back singer-songwriter feeling to the table. “Love and a Question” is musically beautiful (think Oasis’ “Champagne Supernova” or Coldplay’s “Yellow”).

A personal favorite on this recording is “Superficiality Is A Sin.” The track makes a good case for not judging people. “And what do people say?  / And what do people do?  / They all do it too  / Cause they want to.”

The bass-driven “Black Panther Party” ends Purple EP on a funky high note. I could see folks being driven to dance during this track.  

Purple EP is the second release by Clopet and if you’ve not heard of this musician, it’s a really nice introduction. He’s currently planning a tour in September, hopefully he chooses Austin as a stopping point. I'll wear the shirt proudly (just not to the show... I'm not "that guy").

For more infotmation about Tristen Clopet, visit his website - http://tristanclopet.com.

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