TC Superstar Brings Back the Concept Album

MascTC Superstar’s latest and first album finds itself within the retroactive currents of recent pop-culture. The minimalistic, synth-groove band compounds the retroactive themes of every high school 80s movie you’ve seen with the mellow blues of Mac Demarco.

Arguably the best albums to come from the modern rock genre have been concept albums, albums filled with songs that align themselves around the same themes or the same narrative. Sam’s Town by The Killers, The Suburbs by Arcade Fire, American Idiot by Green Day- each song off of these albums is intensely constructed to ultimately contribute to one central argument like brushstrokes in a masterpiece painting.

Masc by TC Superstar is through-and-through a concept album. Connor McCampbell, songwriter and frontman of the band set forth in making a statement in his music.

“For the album I was interested in the notions of masculinity. I was asking if I could find a certain kind of masculinity that wasn’t problematic.” – 

McCampbell searches for this answer in the musical narratives he constructs. Each song is a thought experiment built with its own characters that he wants you to connect with. Within the entrapping synth beats and keys, soft blues guitar, and the poised vocals of himself, McCampbell guides you through the complicated lives of the residents of fictional suburbia.

“He sits cornered in his cubicle/he writes up reports for alpha males/ he stays quiet when they botch his name/ he eats lunch alone everyday” (“Toyota Carola“/ Masc.)

Despite the fictitiousness of the stories he writes, McCampbell integrates a tremendous amount of truth into his songs. His characters are real archetypes. Lost teens, emasculated cubicle jockeys, young parents- these characters are real. McCampbell accomplishes a feat that is not necessarily attempted in the modern music scene which is creating a unified concept album that seeks to analyze and hypothesize on the human experience.

The Performance

I found TC Superstar by complete accident, which leads me to speculate that it was destiny. On stage I have never known a more intimate or groovy show. Paired with the dance-inspiring music were actual dancers standing to each side of McCampbell. The group is performing a show rather than playing a show. There is something with TC Superstar that makes their live shows so worthwhile and exciting. If they’re coming to your town on their upcoming tour this April, you should definitely make a point in seeing them live.

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Photo By: Thea Robinson