Cross your fingers and the more optimistic amongst you would believe that summer 2017 is, indeed, nearly upon us. As you ruminate over all of the plans that can be crammed into those ever fleeting holidays that are still to be made, it is painfully necessary to inject the sonic soul of summer into the days counting down to the escape of your responsibilities.
Lucky for us, we have found a kindred spirit in Cecilia Della Peruti, more commonly known these days as GOTHIC TROPIC. Between her slick guitar work and shimmering synth overtones her music positively aches of summery sentimentality, reminiscing on past times through a heated and hazy nostalgia. Peruti’s forthcoming debut album Fast or Feast – which is to be released on May 19th – touches upon universal themes such as the rising above past relationships and the difficulties of growing up albeit, through a rose-tinted lens of anthemic 80s pop and psychedelia.
It quickly becomes apparent in listening to Gothic Tropic that Peruti has great taste in music. Below she shares a handful of her favourite influential albums and whets our appetite for what she has in store for us in 2017.
We’ve been loving your music as of late, the fantastic ‘How Life Works’ stole our hearts! Can you tell us a little about the track?
Thank you! This was the first track that Todd Dahlhoff (producer on Fast or Feast) produced to see if we wanted to do this together. When he sent me an early version, I was really excited because he brought a new energy to the song. The song is a begrudging apology for things like missing an opportunity to groom myself, or hang up my clothes, and other logistical details that made me a failure at the relationship in the eyes of my former boyfriend, haha. At the time, my hurt puppy complex made me aspire to be better to appease my partner, and despite realizing how absurd that was, as I was writing it I decided to embrace that.
Your video for ‘How Life Works’ had an off-beat B-movie vibe. What inspired the video? Were you actively involved in the creative process?
I asked Matt Larsen (Pipus The Wise) to direct the video, and he sent me a fully realized storyline about parallel universe “me”s searching for an ancient Amazonian jungle demon. I’m a big fan of his videos, so I submitted fully to his vision, and I loved it!
Tracks like ‘Teenage Behaviour’ and ‘Your Soul’ have a lucid and sun-soaked feel to them. Do you feel that L.A is channelled through your music?
I’m sure LA has influenced my songwriting, not just the pleasant weather, but my experience growing up here. I don’t retrofit my songs with a dose of “LA” but I’m sure it leaks in subconsciously.
Have you made a conscious decision to channel past eras of music into your own songs? What is your favourite era of music and why?
I do when deciding on sounds; drum sounds, vocal effect, synth effects, guitar sounds, bass quality, etc. It really helps to be able to reference recordings, and combine things I like. I referenced David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, Can, Prince, and a few others.
Why was Fast Or Feat the right title for the album?
Everything about the album has a duality to it; the collection itself has more sincere tracks and ‘summertime party’ tracks, spanning from classic rock to modern pop, and each song has a little bit of both. The concept to me is just the age-old plight of the starving artist. Potentially being homeless or taking a private jet, both with the same chance of being likely. Since the album was recorded on a shoestring budget with little time, I thought the eager title fit all the way around.
Fast Or Feast was written over a period of three years. Do you feel that such a long period of writing affected the overall direction of the album? Did you encounter any difficulties?
I started writing it in August of 2015, while I was on tour with Todd, the producer. We met as session players for Night Terrors of 1927, and decided to do the record together after becoming good friends and talking about music so much. Because it was recorded when we were both home at the same time, which was difficult because we both went on to play for different artists, it took a long time. But, if you consolidated our time in the studio I bet it only took two and a half weeks.
How did the Avi Buffalo cover of ‘How Life Works’ come about and what are your thoughts of his interpretation of your track?
I love his version of ‘How Life Works’! He put his signature layered guitars and tender voice on it, and I loved it. We’ve been friends for a while, and equally as encouraging so when I mentioned it to him, he was excited to do it. I got the song the same night!
You recently toured with Brit alt-popstar Kate Nash! What was it like performing with her night after night? Are you a big fan of her music?
I’m definitely a fan of Kate Nash, she’s been so encouraging and awesome. I told her she has this effect on people, where she’s always lifting others up and energizing them to be their best selves. It’s really inspiring to see. We both were very precious about our voices/energy on tour, so not much partying but always hugs and laughs. Of course I got sick twice, so I didn’t let her touch me for fear I’d spread the evil.
What is your favourite Gothic Tropic gig to date and what makes you love performing?
I actually think the last show on the tour (London) was my favorite show because we were all so loose and comfortable, and mashed the end of “Marquee Moon” with one of my songs “Major” and it was incredibly satisfying. The band mates I found in the UK are amazing players, and I really love playing with them live and backstage.
What can we expect from you next?
The album is out May 19th, and we’ll just be touring as much as possible to share it. We’re going to be in the UK and EU this May, playing The Victoria on the 17th, Great Escape, Dot To Dot, Goldsounds, and also Berlin and Amsterdam. I’m writing the second album now and will hopefully have something new to share early next year.
Gothic Tropic’s debut album Fast or Feast is out 19th May on Old Flame Records. See Peruti on tour at the dates below.
Gothic Tropic – EU Dates
May 17 – London, UK – Dalston Victoria
May 18 – Brighton, UK – The Great Escape
May 20 – Leeds, UK – Gold Sounds Festival
May 22 – Berlin, DE – Berghain Kantin
May 23 – Amsterdam, NL – Cinetol
May 26 – Manchester, UK – Dot 2 Dot Festival
May 27 – Bristol, UK – Dot 2 Dot Festival
May 28 – Nottingham, UK – Dot 2 Dot Festival