Born from a love of euphoric and gothic pop, Los Angeles electronic duo TOPIA, consisting of Jack Payne and Jack Guimon, set out to explore that yin and yang. They set forth to create individual musical landscapes joyful enough for a utopia, and bleak enough for a dystopia. They began writing music in 2015, after bonding over a shared love for Depeche Mode, Cut Copy and Pet Shop Boys.
TOPIA started after a recording session with another group, after we realized we have a shared love of dance music,” Guimon explains. “We spent a good while working on songs in Jack Payne’s living room in Highland Park, developing a sound that we were both excited about. Eventually we set up our garage as a recording studio, and have been consistently working on new songs since then.
“We’ve branched out and have been doing some DJ gigs, some live electronic sets and more standard gigs around Los Angeles. We laugh because it’s kind of like those lyrics in “I’m losing my edge” by LCD Soundsystem where he describes a band that keeps changing; it’s instrumentation from synths to guitars to turntables and back to guitars. It’s a funny moment that we in some ways epitomize, but there’s no reason to artificially constrain ourselves to “a guitar band” or EDM or whatever in an era where technology has eased the ability to branch out – all those things are just tools we use to make music anyway.”
“Lay It on the Line” is a track that deals with emotional honesty, specifically about how it’s difficult to explain how you feel about something or someone, but it’s always worth it to make that effort. It’s a leap of faith, hoping the feelings will be reciprocated, while coming to grips with the possibility they won’t be. Listen here