Current Top Sellers
Please check out our used vinyl selecton on discogs!View Now
How was your experience on the new Ear Candy Music?Let us know!
The new album from Tropics, aka 27 year old Chris Ward, looks outwards, armed with a newfound confidence that foregrounds his vocal performance and songwriting. It's a musical progression that mirrors a personal one: the early Tropics output was all made in the idyllic, if isolated setting of Ward's grandmother's empty house in the seaside town of Southsea, which he moved into after graduating from university to focus on writing and recording. He was alone there - "like, really alone. For days, I had literally no distractions." Having moved to London in 2013, Ward now splits his time between the city and the road, having played in America, Mexico and across Europe throughout the past year with his live band Keith Vaz and Morgan Hislop.
Tropics' new full-length Rapture is the culmination of this journey. A multi-instrumentalist from an early age, Ward has always drawn on his musical upbringing when composing, but this time around he's pushed himself to develop a fuller sound than ever with the help of Vaz, Hislop and specialist jazz drummer Gillan McLaughlin. Taking influence from Beach Boys, Max Roach and Arthur Russell, Ward has crafted an album that fuses his love of avant-garde percussion, 70s and 80s singer-songwriters such as Peter Gabriel known for pop-leaning hooks, and deep production that takes cues from ambient music.
The very first iterance of the record is the crystal clear vocal that kicks off `Blame'. Ward explains that performing live so much caused him to step outside of his comfort zone: "I used to be a bit dubious about using my vocal too much, and felt like my strength was in sampling and playing keys. It's kind of switched now in that I feel a lot more comfortable just holding a microphone and losing myself." Inspired by the vocal performances of the likes of Little Dragon and Innovative Leisure labelmates Rhye, Ward also found a new lease of life in experimenting with more androgynous vocals.
But even as his sound has greater scope than ever before, Rapture is still a deeply personal endeavour. The majority of the songs started life in Ward's home, in front of a piano, before being built on in the studio. The first half of the record is a chronicle of a whirlwind relationship: the piano-led title track "Rapture" addresses this theme, striving for the throes of ecstatic happiness but never quite making it there. "It's got this feeling of hope and joy, even though it is coming from a sad place," says Ward. "It's about the struggles in your life to get to where you want to be." Elsewhere, lyrics such as, "You ran away just like my luck did" hint at Ward's love for literature and his poetic touch, something he further explores on the album's second side.
Later, the album grows more ambient and the literary references more apparent. "Gloria" takes its name from the character of a frustrated wife in F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Beautiful and Damned. Likewise, "Torrents of Spring" - also named for a work of 20th century American fiction - builds to a sax-led climax over two painstaking minutes, and the penultimate "House of Leaves" is "a really slow-burning ambient instrumental; it's kind of a nod to the first stuff I made". Whether filling dance floors or simply filling up your headspace, Rapture is an intricate and intimate record that presents the many faces of Tropics in a more revealing light than ever before.
Shipping & Returns
You may return most new, unopened items within 30 days of delivery for a full refund. We'll also pay the return shipping costs if the return is a result of our error (you received an incorrect or defective item, etc.).
You should expect to receive your refund within four weeks of giving your package to the return shipper, however, in many cases you will receive a refund more quickly. This time period includes the transit time for us to receive your return from the shipper (5 to 10 business days), the time it takes us to process your return once we receive it (3 to 5 business days), and the time it takes your bank to process our refund request (5 to 10 business days).
If you need to return an item, simply login to your account, view the order using the "Complete Orders" link under the My Account menu and click the Return Item(s) button. We'll notify you via e-mail of your refund once we've received and processed the returned item.
We can ship to virtually any address in the world. Note that there are restrictions on some products, and some products cannot be shipped to international destinations.
When you place an order, we will estimate shipping and delivery dates for you based on the availability of your items and the shipping options you choose. Depending on the shipping provider you choose, shipping date estimates may appear on the shipping quotes page.
Please also note that the shipping rates for many items we sell are weight-based. The weight of any such item can be found on its detail page. To reflect the policies of the shipping companies we use, all weights will be rounded up to the next full pound.