PREMIERE: Get Away with TopHouse’s New EP, ‘Campfire Stories’
Well folks, as though they hadn’t already done it several times over by now, TopHouse has arrived.
Their new EP, Campfire Stories, is a collection that will make you think, make you feel, and make you want to tap your toes and slap that tambo in the great outdoors with all your chosen family. It’s such an inspiring collection of songs that I needed to know more. So, while they picked their strings, I picked their brains.
It’s clear that you are people who value inner work, self reflection, and healthy relationships. Those themes are reflected in your lyrics throughout this album. In what ways have your life experiences contributed to these themes being so influential in your music?
I think we all grew up being taught the importance of taking responsibility for our own actions and choices. There’s real value in taking the time to reflect and evaluate ourselves and our relationships, and hopefully being honest with ourselves about how we can be better people, and what we need to change in order to be better at loving others. To make something better, whether it’s just for yourself or for somebody else, the change has to start with yourself. These songs are cool because in some ways, they’re like journal entries that we’ve gotten to work through with each other and bring to the world. Hopefully we’re sharing something that’s genuine and resonates with others.
Those characteristics and values can sometimes be hard to come by these days. This EP has a sense of comfort and familiarity because the energy around it feels safe, positive, and genuine. That’s not something you get to experience every day when listening to your favorite band. I imagine that contributes to the loyalty of the following TopHouse has built.
Speaking of that following, you seem to have hit the sweet spot with your social media presence. You’ve had some pretty epic success on TikTok and, in less than a year, you grew from 300 monthly Spotify listeners to 45,000! Aside from the sense of connection that permeates through your music, what do you think has been your key to success with all of that?
I think it’s been a combination of Andy’s savviness with social media trends, being genuine, and some simple dumb luck. I mean, does anyone really know how to make TikTok work?
Ah, the relatability of that rhetorical question! That’s definitely a hot topic thats on the forefront for so many artists right now. Being familiar with your audience, and putting effort into curating that audience with the kinds of efforts you’ve put forth in your social media strategy, is important and impressive. In the spirit of intentionality and building an audience that has a genuine relationship with your music, if someone was listening to your music for the first time, which song on this album would you want them to hear first, and why?
Probably “The Mountain Song.” The musicality of the song reflects what we do as a band, and it has some fun positive lyrics that immediately conjure up pictures of mountains and being with people you love.
Excellent answer! “The Mountain Song” has such a uniqueness about it and really showcases the bands personality. As you’ve stated previously, “The Mountain Song is about finding value in the journey, not just the mountain tops. Recognizing the value of struggle and toil as a means to better yourself, and finding joy in taking time to smell the flowers. Most of all, it’s about dedication and faithfulness in the context of a relationship, pushing through doubts and difficulties knowing there’s value in leaning into each other and coming out stronger.” It seems that this is not only the song’s message, but almost the band’s message as a whole.
Speaking of reaching mountaintops, what are your markers for success? What moments have you achieved, or do you hope to achieve, where you‘ll sit back, take it in, and say “Wow, we did good?”
It feels like we’ve had to keep moving our goals higher and higher this last year. Seriously, the growth we’ve seen in the past 12 months has already blown away our craziest expectations. We’re just super grateful that there are people out there who are resonating with some songs put out by four kids from Montana. Specifically, our tour back to Montana last summer had a lot of moments — like our first sold out shows, or playing brand new cities — where it really started to sink in that, wow, we could actually do this thing.
That’s quite a collection of new experiences, which I imagine also brings a fair amount of natural change and evolution to the band. This EP even played out some evolutions with it being your first major release with Andy LaFave on keys. Was there anything else you did differentl,y on this release than you’ve done on records in the past?
Having Andy as a part of TopHouse for this release has been a game changer. He brings a really cool piano-rock-pop element to the music that feels like it’s completed the band, and he has a knack for writing catchy tunes and good lyrics. Otherwise, a lot of this EP feels different, just because it’s the first time we’ve released anything while having a bigger audience. It’s been fun for us to see the response to the singles, and the excitement around the tour and the full EP.
Your music spans a spectrum of moods and tempos while still emanating a sense of uplifting authenticity. As a whole, listening to this album is a very grounding experience. But let’s play with that a little bit — lets pick some of the stand-out moments with Name that Campfire Song!
Most feel-good: “Wine or the Weather“
Most introspective: “Change“
Best song to share with your friends: “The Mountain Song“
If its not clear already, Campfire Stories has officially been added to my self-care routine, and I highly recommend you add it to yours, as well. And if you’re aching for more from TopHouse, take a look at their Northwest Tour dates below. Don’t miss the excitement over on TikTok, and listen to Campfire Stories below!
Bonus gag reel: What should we know about your creative process?
There isn’t much of a “process”. We sort of just create stuff we like one day and then see if we still like it the next. Not to go all artsy-fartsy, but often times a song has a way of creating itself. Or for a small fee (send email inquiry for pricing) you can just lock Joe in a room for 30 minutes, and he will emerge some 30 minutes later with a full song.