Joining us in the studio for this Indie Rock Hit Parade live session is the duo responsible for no less than my favorite album of 2022. Last spring, while heading home from Genesis Owusu’s show at Underground Arts, I soundtracked my travels with Topical Dancer; the debut album by Belgian duo Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul had been released earlier that month and, on that drizzly night, it officially cemented its unshakeable status as my AOTY. Few albums tackle such heavy themes as racism, xenophobia and otherness with the disarming wit and lively rhythms as those that abound on Topical Dancer. Finally making their way to Philadelphia just over a year after the album’s release, Charlotte and Bolis visited our studio to recreate a few of the album’s highlights.
The pair wastes no time in launching into the album’s centerpiece, which has since become a defining moment of their live set: Based on its title alone, “Making Sense Stop” might bring to mind the image of David Byrne being swallowed by an oversized grey suit. Here, Adigéry flips between English and French while Pupul’s bass guitar anchors the song’s chopped-up vocals. After the last chorus, the song seamlessly transitions into “HAHA,” a mesmerizing showcase performance. On Topical Dancer, this track is built around manipulated samples of Adigéry’s breathless laughs and sobs, but is recreated live in this session. Finally, Adigéry and Pupul trade young-adult tales of sexual awakening (both self-realized and externally imposed) on “It Hit Me.”
Listen and watch Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul’s Indie Rock Hit Parade session below, and check out some of Paige Walter’s portraits from the studio. Charlotte and Bolis return to the U.S. at the end of September to open for Sylvan Esso at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, NY.