At long last, Tropic has discovered the bedroom jams we have been desperately looking for. Aptly titled Bittersweet, the duo’s reflection on romance, seduction and heartbreak is a perfect analysis of modern R&B’s response to how deep one’s love really is. Four tracks is all that Tropic needs to convince listeners that there is supreme conviction in the past, a deeper understanding to be found in the present, and many gifts to be gleaned from the future.
Every track on the EP presents a dual-narrative of sorts, with Jo-B Sebastian’s gorgeous vocals contending with the stormy and often dissonant beats from producer Jarel Hill. Bittersweet often takes unexpected yet welcomed turns throughout the course of its runtime. Eschewing conventional key changes and production pathways, Tropic takes a track such as “Nostalgia” and transforms it from something that may have otherwise been H&M radio fodder to an alluring, retro-inspired track. Paramount to the conviction is Hill’s ability to pair soul-inspired rhythms and with a house-centric mentality, all set behind the utterly futuristic voice of Sebastian. Through this, Bittersweet soon presents itself as a homage to boudoir rocking and a lens aimed at the beauty and fear found in the unknown.
More than anything, Bittersweet is, despite a lyrically challenging release and evocatuer of emotions that are tough, a thoroughly fun release. Much like The Weeknd can be melancholy while also an oddly ideal setting for a party, Tropic will play an important role in underscoring a hang when folks gather for an inspired purpose.