Fast Romantics named their 2017 album American Love. Three years later, they’re still waiting for us to return the favor. “It’s like Fast Romantics and America both swiped right on Tinder, but no one’s made the first move yet,” says Matthew Angus, the group’s singer and primary songwriter. “Whenever we’re put in front of a crowd in the States, we make fans for life.”
But that hasn’t been often enough—and it’s not likely to get any easier, with touring on indefinite hiatus due to COVID-19. Meanwhile, the accolades keep piling up for the for Toronto sextet in Canada, where the group has enjoyed consistent success on commercial radio and nearly nabbed the coveted Prism Prize.
“Top Of The Mountain” offers yet another compelling reason to lament Fast Romantics’ lack of an audience south of the border. Simmering and vaguely psychedelic, with slow-build pacing that insinuates a persistent uphill momentum, it’s one of eight thoughtful, impeccably crafted tracks on the band’s new album, Pick It Up (Postwar/Fontana North).
“The songs are on the spectrum of complete disillusionment with one’s self to the process of becoming re-illusioned with one’s self,” says Angus, who’s currently engaged to his Fast Romantics bandmate, multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Kirty. “Things were going well on paper, but that’s where things can get weird for me. I’ve bounced back and forth in the land of depression and anxiety my whole life, and it can affect my ability to complete music. Finishing this record came over the span of three sudden weeks when I’d broken free of that and gotten out of the funk. I can hear my best self on this record.”
Premiering today on magnetmagazine.com, the video for “Top Of The Mountain” is a bit of a change of pace for the group. “Up here, you can get funding for videos,” says Angus. “But that eventually dries out, and we were working with a much smaller budget for this one. We made it about a single experience and tried to tell one story within that simple feeling.”
Clocking in at a lean 30 minutes, Pick It Up stands as an efficient document of a band at the top of its game. “That’s all there is, baby—and we’re really proud of it,” says Angus.
And there’s more where that came from. “This is only a fraction of the music we’ve made over the last two or three years,” says Angus. “Something about the pandemic made it pretty clear that we had to start spitting out songs into the world.”