How to be Topp's first songs were written while singer/guitarist Yona Prochnik was a student in Montreal. Utilizing a 12-string acoustic Gibson from the 1960’s and self-taught alternate tunings, these early songs pushed the sonic possibilities of acoustic folk-pop. After moving back to Brooklyn, Yona teamed up with Elan Fraser (organ and keyboards) whose catchy riffs and swelling chords gave the songs a vintage tone reminiscent of The Band and Neil Young. High school friend Arun Selvaratnam soon joined on bass and with the addition of Alejandro Salazar on drums, a rhythm section was locked in that grounded the ethereal 12-string guitar and organ melodies in tight grooves and innovative patterns. The band’s sound has since become even more eclectic- drawing on everything from psych-rock to experimental electronica in an endeavor to create music that retains the listenability of pop while constantly exploring new musical territory and sidestepping cliches.
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