Tristan Clopet – Purple EP

Purple EP

B

Tristan Clopet is an alternative rock singer/songwriter currently located in Miami, FL. His second EP, Purple, came out earlier this year. Nerdy Nothings recently learned about the artist and was asked to give the EP a review, and here it is.

Let’s start with this: Tristan Clopet is a talented guy. In my personal experience, unsigned artists tend to be weak in the vocal department more often than their major label brethren. Not so with Tristan. His voice is incredibly smooth yet powerful, and recalls a mixture of Ben Harper and Anthony Kiedis. Actually, the whole EP kind of sounds like those two’s baby. At points it can be laid back like Mr. Harper, while at others it is surprisingly funky. It almost veers into the hard-funk territory of some Extreme songs, which, believe it or not, I mean as a compliment. Add into that mix some guitar work and production that brings Kings of Leon to mind, and you’ve got a pretty solid alternative record.

Actually, I want to talk about that guitar work some more. Tristan plays all the instruments on Purple save for the drums, and while it’s all good there are moments when the guitar positively shines. For instance, he rips into a solo on the third track, “Superficiality is a Sin,” that kind of blew my mind the first time I heard it. More often than not indie artists tend to shy away from rock staples like the shredding guitarbomb, but that stuff can be really cool in the right context, and Tristan indeed makes it very cool.

Tristan also employs something more artists need to look into — variety. In six tracks Tristan hits on at least three or four different musical genres, from the alternative balladry of “So Alive” to the genuinely sweet, smooth “Love and a Question” (which happens to be my favorite track here). And of course there’s the funk, which probably has its finest moment here in “Proximity Bomb,” the best track that didn’t make it onto Blood Sugar Sex Magik.

Tristan’s decided to offer his EP through his website using the “pay what you want” philosophy popularized by Radiohead. Really, though, that seems a much more meaningful gesture coming from an independent musician than it does from a group of superstars. What that means, of course, is that you can download Purple for free if you want. However, you can also stream the album for free at his website, and I heartily recommend doing that. If you like the record enough to buy it, it’s well worth the $4.99 or whatever you’d normally pay for a 6-song EP.

Without a doubt, Purple shows a lot of promise for a musician looking to fuse together several styles to create his own voice. Although some of the EP does seem a little repetitive (by the time it gets to the last track, “Black Panther Party,” it doesn’t really have anything new to offer), I’m confident that any kinks can be worked out for an inevitable full-length. Tristan’s also playing next year’s South by Southwest festival, which is sure to bring him some well-deserved exposure. ‘Til then, make sure you go to his website and enjoy the free tunes!

tags: tristan clopet

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