by Isaac Jahns
My new album is part of a decade-long process. And this one moment will serve as part of a bigger narrative.
Listen to the album while reading the text.
My band Greentop’s first album, “Dumb Luck,” was made possible by the work of a small army of people. Without the recording and mixing expertise of my best friends, this chapter of my musical life would simply not exist. I owe it all to them – Kevin, Dylan, Wyatt, Lucas, Gavin, Jack, Sam, Nik and so many more – because this album has a deeply personal meaning.
This whole thing starts in my bedroom back in 2012, when I picked up a cheap, old guitar tucked away in my closet out of sheer boredom. I stuck with it and learned basic chord shapes and strumming patterns. And by the time six months had passed, I could get by playing acoustic tracks.
As I got older and gained experience, I shifted to playing primarily electric guitar and started to play shows with a band, as well as by myself. Writing original music proved to be a challenge, but with the band, we conjured up five tracks and set course for a recording studio in Columbia, Missouri, where I go to college. We’re all from Minnesota, so the drive took about seven hours – or, at least, it should have. Five hours into the drive, one of our cars broke down in a small farm town called Greentop, Missouri. We spent the evening in a field outside of Greentop, wondering what our immediate future held.
We eventually got to Columbia thanks to some good friends who drove 200 miles round-trip to pick us up, but the bad omen turned into real issues. Our finished EP was more stressful than a fun experience. Relationships frayed, and by the end of the year, the band was dead and I was by myself again. It felt like there was nowhere to turn, musically and otherwise.
Rip It Up And Start Again
I couldn’t help but turn my attention to Greentop: an interesting name for a tiny town that just so happened to be the place the music died for us. Naturally, when I started to write songs again, it seemed natural to name the project after frayed ends and new, shaky beginnings.
Last year, the first Greentop release came out in November – a four-song EP called “Northbound.” The songs there were meant to be a primer, a kick-start to bigger and better releases. In the weeks immediately following the EP’s release, I started writing the true debut record for Greentop – a story of sadness, despair, introspection, and rebirth.
Through this summer, it became a story about how we perceive luck. I think luck is relative depending on your place in life – some would kill to be in my position (white, male, early 20s in America, going to college, middle class, solid family), but I found myself taking all of those things for granted and focusing on the things I didn’t have. The album’s title, “Dumb Luck,” is double entendre in a way: my luck seemed blind and completely random, but at the end of the record, I think that blaming your life on luck IS dumb.
Come Along For The Ride
Now, we’re on the precipice of something truly amazing. After years of trying and failing to make good music, this album is something I’m immensely proud of. I want to see it succeed. And we’re doing everything we can to make sure it does, most namely a Midwest tour this winter. If you’re in the Chicago, Iowa City, or Twin Cities/Duluth/Rochester, MN area, come say hi! You won’t regret it.
I think this album is the beginning of a new, exciting chapter in music for me. Give us a like. Come see a show, and check us out for yourself – maybe you’ll want to come along for the ride.
Greentop, Category: Artist, Albums: Dumb Luck, Singles: Starling, Weekend Home, Going Away, Northbound, Top Tracks: Comedown, New Sharon, Going Away, Perfect, Starling, Biography: Greentop started in August of 2017 as a combination of my anthemic indie roots in high school and the more subdued, melancholy twinge of college away from home., Monthly Listeners: 134, Where People Listen: Rochester, Minneapolis, Chicago, Nashville, Winona