The guys of Tropic are back with another soulful cover …
Remember Tropic? The soulful Electro-R&B Pop duo I recently introduced you to. Well, now they’ve dropped a brand new cover. This time the groovy duo take on one of my faves, Frank Ocean and his hit “Thinkin’ Bout You”. Tropic is a group who is quickly becoming quite well versed in the world of cover songs. Most notably with their unique and fresh update on Earth Wind and Fire’s“September” (see my review here).
The duo, consisting of singer Jo-BSebastian and producer Phuse aka Jarel Hill do justice to this cover as well. Once again Jo-B’s slightly husky tone (which also are very reminiscent stylistically of 80s R&B singers) glide along beautifully and the way Jo-B plays around with wording through vocal ad-libbing, pair perfectly to Jarel’s futuristic yet soulful production on this cover. Altogether the combination of the two creatively adds a new perspective on the Frank Ocean track which has become quite the groundbreaking track. So as I had mentioned prior, to do it justice is to do a song in your own way, which Tropic has successfully done.
Meet loom:ngs, a unique electronic music duo comprised of Zola Johnson and producer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Daniel Loumpouridis. With what began as a dorm room project soon became much more, their unique take on dark electronic music with cool synths, pop sensibilities and great melodies. This is a band you don’t want to miss.
“We want to use our musical and lyrical sensibilities to explore the relationship between what is being said and what is being heard.” – LOOM:NGS
I got the chance to interview to loom;ngs just ahead of their release of their amazing cover of Joy Division‘s ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart‘. We discuss Joy Division, why THIS song, and just music in general. Let’s get to know loom:ngs …
Hi, Zola and Daniel. Congrats on the new cover single ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’. Before we go into that …
1. Quick question … Coffee or Tea?
Daniel Loumpouridis: Tea, every time.
Zola Johnson: Depends how I’m feeling, but usually it’s tea at night, coffee in the morning.
2. Can you guys tell us how loom:ngs came to be?
Daniel: The first time I met Zola was when we were both in college, I saw her play a couple of her original tunes at an open mic and it blew my mind. I walked right up and hugged her.
Zola: It was weird.
Daniel: It was weird. But then we started working together and we just kept making more and more music until eventually we realized we should probably just be doing this for real.
3. I absolutely love the cover of “Love Will Tear Us Apart”. You’ve managed to keep the original feeling while updating it. So can you tell what initially drew you guys to this song? Where you Joy Division fans prior?
Dan: Totally. We both grew up on 80’s pop and absolutely adore this song. We knew we wanted to cover a tune from that era, but once we looked up Ian Curtis’ lyrics it felt like it was meant to be. They’re so gut-wrenching and beautiful at the same time, but we felt like they got lost in the original arrangement, so we really wanted that to be a focus of our production.
4. Are themes of loss and love something that you guys feel most comfortable in telling? Or just telling about human relationships overall? Be it good or bad.
Zola: I always write and sing from my heart rather than my head. I’m definitely more comfortable talking about love and loss than something I’ve never experienced. Every song we write is true to us in some form or another, regardless of the actual narrative being sung. “Make This More” isn’t necessarily a true story, but that doesn’t mean that the emotion and feeling in the songwriting isn’t perfectly honest. It all comes from a place of authenticity, and for me that means it comes from a place of real emotion.
5. Where do you draw your biggest inspirations and influences from? In particularly for this song?
Dan: James Blake and Kanye West have written my bible when it comes to production. We always try to look at things from that perspective they seem to have where it’s like “okay, this is what people are doing, how can I do that but better?” They’re both pop musicians, yet they consistently defy and then redefine pop preconceptions. I could go on for days about those two. Specifically we wanted this song to feel like it lives in 2018 as much as the original feels like it lived in the 80’s. We have those classic trappy hi-hats that are everywhere now, some future bass-inspired synths, and lots of vocoder. You can’t go anywhere on the radio right now without hearing some combination of those three things.
6. What lyric from “Love Will Tear Us Apart” hits home for each of you the most?
Zola: “There’s a taste in my mouth / as desperation takes hold” is just so descriptive and honest. Absolutely haunting.
Dan: “Why is the bedroom so cold? / you’ve turned away on your side / is my timing that flawed?” just absolutely destroys me. Every time. Every freaking time.
7. If you could give any other Joy Division song the ‘loom:ngs’ treatment what would you choose?
Zola: I think we could do some weird stuff to “She’s Lost Control”
Dan: I’ve been pushing for us to try out “Bizarre Love Triangle”. I know that’s New Order, but it’s kind of the same band so I’m counting it.
8. Are there any artists that have been “On Repeat” for you as a band lately? What music have you guys been digging?
Zola: Hundred Waters, Vince Staples, LCD Soundsystem, Jamiexx, Lorde, and always a healthy dose of Radiohead.
9. Do you guys have any dream collaborations?
Dan: I feel like Johnny Greenwood and I would get along real well musically. The man can arrange the hell out of a string section.
Zola: I’d love to work with Justin Vernon or Nicole Miglis from Hundred Waters. I relate so much to their lyricism and the way they approach songwriting.
10. And what’s next for loom:ngs?
Zola: Our first EP is coming out later in the summer, but that’s just the first step. We have so much music that we’re beyond excited to share, and an amazing live show that we’ve been working so hard on. This year is going to be filled with goodthings.