Armellodie Records is proud to present Appletop from the dirty south of France with their new album, Brave Mountains, released on Monday 10th March 2014.
Pierre Cristofari, Olivier Cancellieri and Nicolas Faou formed Appletop in Hyères, France in 2008. Since then they’ve released a clutch of EPs in their native land, and a well-received debut album, The City Can Wait via Parisien label Le Son du Maquis/Harmonia Mundi in 2010.
Hereafter the band took to the winding roads of Europe, clocking in hundreds of shows and notching up tour supports with such indie-stalwarts as The Thermals, Wild Flag and The Horrors.
The first single from the album, ‘Twenty-Five’, (released in France on shiny clear vinyl courtesy of A Quick One Records) whetted the public's aural taste-buds and set the tone for the long-player you now have in your possession. Two years in the making, Brave Mountains draws on British and American alt-rock traditions. Ten lean cuts of appetising indie rock meat!
‘Burning Land’, ‘Johnny’s Theme’ and ‘Madonna in Love’ are the sort of songs you would want to end a summer festival with, punching-the-air with the orange sun setting in the background. Cristofari’s charmingly curious phrasing – singing in his second language after all – echoing out from the stage.
Elsewhere, songs like the sparse ‘Nikolai’ and the dreamy in-no-rush guitar lines of ‘Portland’ show the band at their most tender. Though there’s no need to approach with caution, we’re a million miles away from emo-melodrama. There is minimal doom and gloom; instead the listener is treated to a warm and affecting scruffy pop conscious.
“It’s the same old story, told a hundred times” sings Cristofari on enticing opener, ‘Headstrong’. And maybe it is, but Appletop succeed by digging under the surface of their beloved idols – think Sebadoh, Pavement, Teenage Fanclub – and hit you warm in the gut with fuzzed up guitars, pared back production values and stick-to-your-ribs melodies.
As a special treat, here's the video to their first track: