Born in Toronto and bred in Miami, Tristan ClopÃªt’s range is as wide as the distance between the two cities. Backed by his band The Juice, ClopÃªt infuses quick, succinct rhymes with crooning interjections and skilled guitar work Purple, his six-song EP.
The 23-year-old shifts seamlessly from one genre to the next on his second EP, released in January 2010. “Love and a Question” and “So Alive” veer toward the soulful, slow-burning style perfected by Maroon 5. But ClopÃªt switches it up by infusing the EP with songs like “Black Panther Party” and “Proximity Bomb”, a pair of harder hitting tracks that balance quick rhymes with funky bass lines and beating drums. ClopÃªt must tire of the Red Hot Chili Peppers comparisons, but it’s impossible to listen to his EP without thinking it evokes Kiedis and the boys a la Blood Sugar Sex Magik.
ClopÃªt’s savvy recording label uploaded about a dozen spot-on covers to YouTube, with Clopet paying homage to everyone from Bon Iver to Artic Monkeys to, yes, even Red Hot Chili Peppers. His musical chops are solid, bellying up to the keyboard with a splinted index finger to cover Neil Young’s “Philadelphia”, and keeping pace with Vampire Weekend’s frantic guitarwork in “Cousins”.
ClopÃªt has a confident delivery and a soulful voice tinged with just enough rasp to make him sound more mature than the other up-and-coming singer-songwriters with a guitar that are trying to make a successful living as musicians. The dichotomy of the album might indicate that ClopÃªt is torn between which path to take to find commercial success, but I, for one, can’t wait to hear what he has in store next.
Listen to Clopet’s Purple (via his official site), or check out his cover of Vampire Weekend’s “Cousins” below…