New York experimental four-piece altopalo today share new single, “am I am,” from their forthcoming second album, farawayfromeveryoneyouknow, out April 24th via Samedi Records. The opening cut of the new album, “am I am” unearths some previously buried pop smarts amidst clattering percussion, startling dynamic shifts and tinkering instrumental, listen HERE. Late April, the band will embark on a headline US tour– all dates below.
“‘am I am’ is about being full of shit”, the band says, likening the track’s subject to “Thoreau with a supermarket. A manchild with a trust fund googling his way through the wilderness after watching The Revenant.”
Made of veterans of the NY scene, altopalo are becoming known for disintegrating the boundaries of ambient, electronic and guitar music, calling to mind other genre-bending masters like Bon Iver, Moses Sumney or King Krule. Beneath their alien musical transmissions, altopalo grapple with modern themes of anxiety, embracing fear and the rejection of self-care as a lifestyle brand.
altopalo’s debut album, frozenthere (2018), decontextualized their instruments into atmospheric walls of sound, garnering praise from Pitchfork, Fader, Billboard, Consequence of Sound, among others. Their recording process – made up of long improvisations recorded in full before being whittled down into loops, progressions, and fragments – is best thought of as creating, pulling apart and then trying to piece back together a jigsaw puzzle.
On the process behind “am I am,”, the band says: “The instrumental for this song got almost fully realized in one day. The four of us got started with the wonky guitar part and obliterated drums that start the song. Mike threaded a playing card between his guitar strings and played some nice chords. Jesse found a USB-outfitted Nintendo 64 controller in the trash and programmed it to trigger some destroyed drum sounds. Dillon played some real drums before Mike drove him to JFK… By the time Mike got back to the studio, the song was well on its way to the form you hear now.”
altopalo 2020 Tour Dates
4/29/20 – Songbyrd – Washington, DC
5/1/20 – Rough Trade – Brooklyn, NY
5/2/20 – Great Scott – Allston, MA
5/4/20 – The Drake – Toronto, ON
5/6/20 – Schubas Tavern – Chicago, IL
5/8/20 – Globe Hall – Denver, CO
5/10/20 – Cafe Du Nord – San Francisco, CA
5/13/20 – The Echo – Los Angeles, CA