How to be Topp
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How to be Topp

New York City, New York, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Folk

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This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


"Friday First: How To Be Topp’s EP Offshore Accounts"

This week’s Friday First column features an exclusive stream of BK newcomers How To Be Topp‘s EP, Offshore Accounts. The 4-song album came out last night and was celebrated with a rocking show at Shea Stadium with headliners (and BD faves) Zula. Friday First is a weekly column premiering brand spanking new releases from local and national bands.
The quartet’s name is an obscure reference to the 1954 illustrated book by Geoffrey Williams and Ronald Searle, How to be Topp: A Guide to Sukcess for Tiny Pupils, Including All There is to Kno about Space. How it’s reflected in the band’s mixed-genre sound is unclear, as the band buzzes through and around many sounds without ever really landing on one home planet. They’ve got bluesy and earnest vocals winding- and occasionally meeting in lush harmonies- above growling psych guitar, buzzing bass, and subtle yet playful synth elements. The jazziest track on the EP is the last, ”Boardwalk,” infusing the album fun imagery (“Hanging out under the boardwalk with your tattoos”), with organ-like keys and upbeat dance drums. Their EP, Offshore Accounts, features 4 songs, and was recorded at Gravesend Studios and produced by Carlos Hernandez and Julian Fader of Ava Luna. Catch the band for a lovely Valentine’s show with another band we love, Honey Wild, at Pianos on Feb 14th. - Bushwick Daily


"What's so good?"

How To Be Topp’s single “Offshore Accounts” was undoubtedly love at first listen.

The undeniable droney nature of this song takes precedent over any other element. It’s not overdone, and it’s certainly not typical. This track has an obscure quality that brings an endearing element to the overall sound; the reverberated guitar tones drench the speakers at times, but at other points in the song a keyboard and lush harmonies take the lead.

Either way, “Offshore Accounts” is incredibly intriguing and unique – something that is always welcomed here! - Indie Shuffle


"Tune Up : How To Be Topp"

Lose yourself in swirling guitars, unwrap your head to a river of harmonies, or marvel at the purple quartz wilderness nearly swallowing the band in their album art - just whatever you do, don't call them psychedelic. You won't need to drop acid to appreciate the fun grooves of How To Be Topp, Brooklyn's newest rock quartet. The group seamlessly merges elements of folk, rock, blues, and even jazz to create a sonic stew that is both refreshing and uncannily familiar. Like you discovered one of your dad's dusty vinyl from the '60s, only to find that it has gone through a time-warp to Bushwick and back. For the February 1st release of their EP Offshore Accounts, the band played a release party gig at Shea Stadium with fan favorites Zula. It was a badass way to kick-off what promises to be an eventful musical road ahead. - BreakThru Radio


"Premiere: How To Be Topp, "Offshore Accounts""

Montreal by Brooklyn's How to Be Topp emerged on the scene early in 2013 with the singles "Stickup Girl" and "Hold Your Tongue" off the recently released Offshore Accounts EP. Today we are proud to debut the eponymous track from the EP. The visual treatment finds the Topp crew of Yona, Elan, Arun, and Alejandro getting their own glamor screen test film portraits with fluorescent action-painted make-up applications to their images onscreen.

The song's slow percolating opening of sleepy guitar distortion and awakening chords lead you into the lilac hearted undergrounds of How To Be Topp. To match the band's psyched but serious fury, videographer Deborah Forrest uses a soft focus that provides psychedelic portraits of the band with splashes of painted and illuminated color flashes set to the motions of the band's own chosen chord and rhythm timings. The twin tales of an impoverished kid getting locked up for slanging rocks is measured against a lyrical portrait of Wall Street legal loopholes of fiscal theft sans prosecution or moral oversight. With an imaginative approach to the b/w screen test shots, the song's rave-up finale rails against the criminal upper-financial-echelons, set to colorful visual sequences that further contribute to the fuzzy bliss. - Impose Magazine


Discography

Offshore Accounts EP - 2014

Photos

Bio

How to be Topp's first songs came out of unrealized material from singer/guitarist Yona Prochnik's Montreal band, Bandits. Utilizing a 12-string Gibson from the 1960s and self-taught alternate tunings, these early songs pushed the sonic possibilities of acoustic folk pop. After moving back to Brooklyn, Yona teamed up with Elan Fraser (organ and keyboards) whose catchy riffs and swelling chords gave the songs a vintage tone reminiscent of The Band and Neil Young. High school friend and former bandmate Arun Selvaratnum soon joined on bass and with the addition of Alejandro Salazar on drums, a rhythm section was locked in that grounded the ethereal 12 string guitar and organ melodies in tight grooves and innovative patterns. The bands sound has since become even more eclectic- drawing on everything from psych rock to experimental electronic music in an endeavor to create music that retains the listenability of pop while constantly exploring new musical territory and sidestepping cliches. Their songs are characterized by the quick and seamless fluctuation between classic pop melodies and chords, and dissonant breakdowns.

How to be Topp's debut EP was released in January 2014. It received positive reviews from Indie Shuffle and Bushwick Daily among others. The accompanying music video was also recently premiered in Impose Magazine.

Band Members