Mainland is a band with a plan. The Brooklyn four-piece has a new album to support, and their constant touring seems to be doing the trick.
They're about to kick off Rooney's Welcome Home Tour this week that includes a show at Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday, May 20th.
Tickets were about $20 before selling out. Now they're upwards of $50 on resale.
Mainland's upcoming full-length album, Night Trials, due this Fall, contains four songs that have been released as something of a preview, or an EP in advance of the LP, called Outcast.
It sounds like something you'd listen to while drinking mimosas. It sounds kind of like brunch music, and the world needs that.
It's music that uplifts you and makes you think things are possible that you'd otherwise deem silly. It helps you realize that feeling bad doesn't need to be so sh*tty. It feels good.
Their sound is diverse, ranging from bass-driven dance beats to ballads-- sometimes a little snarlier than others.
But at the same time, singer/guitarist and frontman Jordan Topf's cool aloof vocal delivery feels detached and pulls their sound toward a New Wave-ish sense of humor about one's own importance.
Jordan Topf likes to post photos with his mom on Instagram. They're adorable. She looks cool, you know?
Comments on other photos include your regular rockstar fodder like "F*ck me Jordan" and of course true props like, "Nice white hi-top Chucks!"
In short, Jordan's Instagram is lit AF, fam.
I had the chance to speak with him over the phone about romanticizing the past and being genuinely excited about what's to come.
We spoke about recording Outcast and Mainland's surprise cover album of Elliot Smith's Either/Or, out last December, and the unveiling of their upcoming full-length Night Trials.
"We've released four songs off the album [Night Trials LP] which are the Outcast EP. We like to think that those four songs represent the four corners of our sound," Jordan explained. It's a diverse EP but I think all the pieces fit nicely."
And it sounds fantastic, crisp, and clean like a band that had had proper direction in the studio.
Jordan told me about their time at Fairfax Recordings, formerly Sound City Studios, where albums like Weezer's Pinkerton, Red Hot Chili Peppers' One Hot Minute, and Arctic Monkeys' Suck It And See were all recorded.
"We had a very good experience...it was a magical time. We kind of romanticize it at this point because of the warm weather and we were in the most beautiful studio in the world and we're really happy with how the album came out."
And it's no surprise. Jordan went to City College for their "super underrated, amazing" Sonic Arts Program. His background in recording definitely informed the cleanliness of Outcast, but that was with a killer producer in a legendary studio.
For Night Trials, Mainland worked with producer Kevin Augunas, whose resume includes work for Oberhofer, Cold War Kids, The Lumineers, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, and The Vandals in one form or another.
Augunas knows how to record. Jordan knows how to record, too. When it comes to their Either/Or cover album, Jordan tells me, "I recorded it in my bedroom with like, one microphone and put it up there [the internet]."
What's magical is that Mainland's 'Either/Or' is magnificently lo-fi, but sounds no less clean or proper than Outcast being recorded in the best possible conditions under fabulous supervision. That's where Jordan's skill in recording comes into play.
Whether it's in his bedroom with one microphone and limited gear or in a famous studio, there's clearly a high standard when it comes to recording Mainland tunes.
That's one of the defining characteristics of the band: they just sound so damn good.
In terms of what Outcast and the rest of Night Trials sounds like, Jordan told me that "trials and tribulations of the night life is what we were trying to conjure up." He went on to talk about hanging out on the Lower East Side, and all that goes with it.
But there's more than just that.
"We wanted to explore all we can do with this record. There's a lot of that British post-punk New Wave stuff on there, some raw stuff a little bit more like Shiner EP. It's a diverse statement we're about to put out, so I'm excited."
Grab Mainland's Outcast EP on iTunes, Amazon, or stream it on Spotify.
Look for tickets to Mainland's concert this Friday May 20th with Rooney at Music Hall of Williamsburg.
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