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Luke Top Creates a Hidden World of Folk on ‘Suspect Highs’

His debut solo full-length is out March 4

You may recognize Luke Top’s earthy intonation from the worldly dance music-informed outfit he co-founded, Fool’s Gold. Now, he’s now taking his voice to new places with a solo folk effort, Suspect Highs — a sometimes jazzy (“Reunion Island”), other times rockabilly (“Chariot”), all the time arresting affair. The product of an isolated post-tour convalescence, his debut LP (out March 4 via Grand Gallop Music) is no vanity project, but a deeply earnest and deeply honest confessional.

Otherwise upbeat songs belie hidden agendas and cutting lines: On “Avalon,” Top hedges a confrontation with the same fair-weather lover (“I belong to love / That’s the line you gave to me when there was no other road”) with the vulnerable refrain, “It’s all for you.” Warm guitar lines overlay African claves, saxophone-buffed bass lines, or jaunty keys to create a recognizably refreshing aural world whose borders you may have skirted, but never seen in full.

Listen to Suspect Highs below, and pre-order the album here.