New York band altopalo’s music could be described as indie-pop or indie electronic, but it also ranges from dancey beats to smooth and mellow melodies that give their sound an intangibly unique feel. This is not your average indie rock band, but rather a group that has been influenced by many different genres, packaging their disparate inspirations into a fresh sound that offers something different from other bands out today.
Altopalo’s fourth album, frenemy, is a sonically-soothing breath of fresh air, a joy ride that jostles from dark and introspective ballads to dance-worthy jams, blending genres ranging from pop to ambient, electronic, and alternative R&B into a musical journey that documents the band’s decade-long friendship. It opens strong with the dreamy and brooding song “Altopalo” — a gripping track that lets you know you’re in for something special. Later highlights include “love that 4 u,” a powerful, slow building cut that’s both caustic and beautiful in turns, with Bartees Strange adding an impactful guest verse; “time alone”, a hypnotically wobbly instrumental number; and “wya?”, accentuated by a skittering Four Tet/Bonobo-esque backing beat.
If you like a wide array of genres, frenemy is the album for you. Altopalo bounces between styles and emotions like a ball in a pinball game, reaching new heights each time.