Meet Altopalo, the enigmatic new band based out of NY who today release their debut album frozentherevia Samedi Records. Listen to their single ‘Mono’ described by Pitchfork as “a masterclass in atmospheric release” below and hear the record in full on Spotify, Apple Music and iTunes now.
Made up of veterans of the New York underground scene, the foursome comprises of singer Rahm Silverglade, a solo artist in his own right releasing material through Terrible Records, guitarist Mike Haldeman who’s cut his teeth in Moses Sumney’s band and Jesse Bielenberg and Dillon Treacy who have played with Kevin Garrett and Amber Mark respectively.
Together, Altopalo are the band opening up fresh new avenues for music through their dizzying experimentalism, both in their process and sound. Their debut album frozenthere, which features previously teased tracks ‘Blur’//’FrozenAway’, ‘(Head in a) Cloche//’Pulp’ and ‘Terra//Mono‘, though oftentimes taking inspiration from Beyonce or Frank Ocean, is assuredly unlike anything else in the commercial landscape.
The record itself explores concepts such as change and transformation – focusing on what it means to be human amidst a rapidly changing technological and political landscape, and furthuring our understanding of the possibilities of music as a technological art. The songwriting process is also an exploration into experimentation, with most of their songs starting as field recordings that begin as initial ideas that are later fleshed out into their final form.
Describing it as “the first song that dramatically changed the shape of the Altopalo creative process and redirected the sound into what would eventually become frozenthere,” – ‘Mono’ which originally started life as a moment of improvised magic at a show caught on a handheld field recorder – is representative of their shift from band-oriented music towards what they describe as “more compositionally-minded”. Beginning with a sparse bass note alive with overtones, it soon crescendos into a full-flowering of Altopalo’s unique wall of sound, a sound pitched somewhere between experimental music and wild collages of sound art.
The band will play live this weekend at their local Brooklyn venue Elsewhere, with more shows to be announced soon.
Head in a Cloche