Altopalo are an enigmatic new band opening fresh new avenues for music through their dizzying experimentalism. A foursome comprised of singer Rahm Silverglade, a solo artist in his own right releasing material through Terrible Records, and guitarist Mike Haldeman who’s cut his teeth in Moses Sumney’s band. In the rhythm section, Jesse Bielenberg and Dillon Treacy have played with Kevin Garrett and Amber Mark respectively, making Altopalo already sometime veterans of the New York underground scene.
Now they’re gearing up to release their debut album ‘frozenthere’ later this year, and it’s assuredly unlike anything else in the commercial landscape. They teased it with the release of their ‘Blur/FrozenAway’ single which was included in Pitchfork’s What’s Good playlist. A daring record which throws all caution to the wind to achieve its distinctive artistic vision. On their new single ‘(Head in a) Cloche/Pulp’ they’re continuing the steady pre-emptive rollout of their unearthly sound whilst reclaiming New York as the home of the avant garde.
Having started its life essentially as a full-throttle rock performance, the final cut of A-side ‘(Head in a) Cloche’ is a swarming five minute leviathan of sound and silence performed by a group who understand the spaces between sounds, and the protean and unworldly journeys music can take us on. ‘Pulp’ is even harder to categorise. Rahm’s pained and technically brilliant vocal never achieves a resolution, it withholds the satisfaction of a chorus or even a straightforward meaning to make for a raw and deeply haunting piece of music.
Altopalo explore the social anxieties around cutting-edge technology and further our understanding of the possibilities of music as a technological art. Their world is a strange and discomforting one, a mirror of our own, but through their incisive lyricism and freeform musical experimentation they open up rich and thought-provoking new prospects for contemporary music.
News on debut shows in New York and LA to follow shortly.
Cover art by Jackson Bernard // @felon_degenerate