Veterans of the New York underground scene, the four members of altopalo – lead singer Rahm Silverglade, guitarist Mike Haldeman, bassist Jesse Bielenberg and drummer Dillon Treacy – disintegrate the boundaries of genre, folding in elements of R&B, electronica, ambient and jazz through their deconstructionist approach to guitar-driven music reminiscent of artists such as Bon Iver, Moses Sumney and Black Midi.
altopalo have come a long way since their EP noneofuscared was released in 2015. The band’s methodology evolved on their 2018 debut album frozenthere. The four-piece decontextualized their traditional instruments into atmospherics and walls of sound, earning them praise from Pitchfork, The FADER, Billboard, Consequence of Sound and more. Grounded in their experience as well-worn session players and touring musicians, they went on to hone and expand upon that sound for 2020’s farawayfromeveryoneyouknow, opening up new avenues for their music, from the languid indie rock of lead single “honey” to the deep, danceable grooves of “nocturne”, the chopped-up soul of “lub” and the gleaming, evocative intimacy of instrumental closer “now that youre here…”. The band’s idiosyncratic recording process, made up of long improvisations, recorded in full before being whittled down into different loops, progressions and fragments, is likened by Treacy as altopalo creating, pulling apart and then trying to piece a jigsaw puzzle back together again.