Published Nov 25, 2016Toronto-based six-piece ensemble Os Tropies revel in the subversive sounds of tropicália — the Brazilian art culture movement that surfaced in the late 1960s — which stylistically melds elements of traditional rhythms with notes of psychedelic rock and modern pop. In their words, the album title — The Soil — springs from a metaphor for women's bodies and the circuitous nature of cultural assimilation and appropriation. The point is to make a statement — political, powerful, profound.
The way they accomplish this is via a dark, foreboding energy that feeds off its tropicália spirit: especially via the eerie vibe of "The Haunted House of the Americas," the boomy bossa nova of "Tropicanadense" and the wanderlust of "You Can Only Know." On vocals, Amy Medvick brings an airy, wholly reverent sound, and the rest of the crew —David Atkinson on keys, Graham Campbell on guitar, Carlie Howell handling bass, Fraser McEvoy and Eric Woolston on drums/percussion — lend a substantive purist identity to the material. With passionately experimental use of bongos, theremins, berimbaus and an ambitious aesthetic, The Soil is musically ingenious, thematically interconnected and culturally pertinent. (Independent)