Skip to main content
A Magazine for Sheffield

Sun City

Ever since Tom first appeared under the moniker of General Wolf, it’s been obvious that he’s an exceedingly talented singer and musician. As a band, Tropic of Youth always possessed an abundance of ability, but at some stage during 2013 they evolved from being talented young bucks to sounding like the real deal. With the release of their new EP Sun City, they seem destined to be propelled onto the national stage.

Sun City opens with ‘Poa Kichizi Kama Ndizi’ (that’s ‘Crazy Cool Like a Banana’ to the non-Swahili speakers out there), which threatens to go all ‘Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa’, before veering off in a completely different direction. Throughout these five impeccably crafted songs there is a niggling sense of familiarity. But whilst at times bearing a resemblance to several bands, their music retains a strong sense of identity and originality.

Fusing tropical beats with African rhythms, they create a kaleidoscope of vibrant sounds, never more so than on the “banana one” and in the opening of ‘We Can’. They label themselves as ‘soft rock world beat’, and whilst most likely meant in pure jest, ‘Hot Season’ does have that classic feel. ‘Post Youth’, the finale to this musical menagerie, is absolutely stunning and should be bothering a radio near you in the near future.

There’s a deftness of touch to the production on Sun City, and a density, depth and cohesion to the music which elevates it above bands of a similar ilk. You’ll easily be caught by their hooks, but repeated listens unlock further mysteries. With the release of Sun City, Tropic of Youth have finally made the transition from a band with bags of potential to one of the best bands currently active in Sheffield.

Rob Aldam