Folk-rock duo Goldtop release debut album You Possess Me
Folk-rock musicians Alice Kos and Everett LaRoi, known collectively as Goldtop, are astronauts in cheap spacesuits. They use those old drum machines and pianos from the ‘70s and ‘80s to stir and provoke creativity on their debut album, You Possess Me.
Not averse to experimentation and with only two pairs of hands to play a surprisingly full and dynamic sound, Goldtop has to keep creative on the stage.
“All the songs we developed in a way so we could perform them live,” says LaRoi. “It wasn’t like we wrote a bunch of songs and now we’re going out on tour type of thing. We’ve been playing shows for about four years. When you strip things down and you’re not playing with a drummer live, you’ve got to make it interesting.”
While still avant-garde, the duo is well versed in the classic elements of folk. Simple and soulful vocals, deep lyrics, and heartful strum are integral to the sound.
Goldtop, as it exists today probably wouldn’t be without the intervention of L.A.-based singer, songwriter, and producer, Marvin Etzioni, and series of coincidences that Kos refers to as “the craziest, magical, cosmic shit.” Etzioni was browsing through YouTube when he came across a performance that LaRoi and Kos had recorded at Black Dog Freehouse. He loved it, got in touch, and brought the pair on tour through eastern Canada. The album’s title track is a song that Etzioni wrote.
As the band eagerly states, no other person has left a bigger mark on what Goldtop is and strives to be.
“Alice plays a beautiful gold top Hagstrom guitar, and of course Alice is very blonde, naturally blonde,” says LaRoi. “Marvin started to refer to her, and calling to her after the shows. ‘Hey Goldtop, come off the stage.’ When we got back from the tour and started forming a duo, we thought about what we should call ourselves. Well I’m blonde, she’s blonde.”
Goldtop unofficially began in 2009 when Kos hired LaRoi as a guitar teacher. LaRoi, a veteran of the Edmonton music scene with credits like ManRayGun and Idyl Tea, helped Ros develop her songs into her 2012 release, You Missed It All. Unable to bring the entire band on tour, the pair set off on a string of performances as a two piece, and soon made the decision to stay that way.
“For this particular album, Everett brought songs to it and I brought songs to it and it wasn’t like we were really think about if these songs fit together lyrically,” says Kos. “I think I was thinking if these songs are cohesive in terms of their sound.”
With the new album out, and confident in the material, Goldtop is already getting ready to head back into the studio to record a new single with Etzioni. For a band that finds a way to keep a sampler, a piano, two guitars, and two sets of vocals cords all running at once, Goldtop works hard for its audience.
“I think it’s a pretty diverse lineup actually because it’s an early show, it is all ages,” says Kos. “I think some of our audience are people with kids and stuff like that and we’re hoping people will bring out their family for just a good time.”
Aug., 6 (5:30 pm)
Goldtop w/ Marvin Etzioni and F&M
The Needle, $12 in advance