Based in the blooming cultural hub of Raleigh, North Carolina, T0W3RS (pronounced “towers”) isn’t quite what you’d expect from a 27-year-old dude with a math degree. Once a genre-defying pop rock five-piece led by Derek Torres, T0W3RS took the unsuspecting south by storm in 2010 with the release Torres’ self-recorded Summertime cassette EP. Soon after, the band found themselves on bills supporting acts like Danny Brown, Here We Go Magic, Woods and Flosstradamus, before capitalizing on all those good vibes with their debut full-length If All We Have is Time (2012).
Yet despite upward momentum and their gem-ridden WYATT EP in 2013, the band split as members moved on to different projects and locales. Torres himself took some time to reflect and regroup, but he didn’t regroup as much as ungroup: now, T0W3RS has returned to a solo effort that combines organic rock instrumentation and electronic sound palettes with lyrical sincerity and intuitive melodies that are guaranteed to get stuck in your head in the best way.
Recorded in a year’s time at Torres’ Carrboro home, TL;DR opens with the sweet and light-on-its-feet “Cups” before diving into earworms like “The Situation,” a mid-tempo banger that hits like a forgotten 90’s arena anthem filtered through Passion Pit synths. Side B’s “Silk Hope” throws back to the goldmined goodness of 70’s disco, while “Elasticity” harkens back to Torres’ own history with hooky indie rock tunes. Live, T0W3RS creates a fun, dance-friendly atmosphere that doesn’t bend to the emptiness so frequently found in cutesy indie pop acts. Torres’ dance moves and energy are reminiscent of Future Islands’ Sam Herring, but with a twist of some of the slick disco-inspired production of LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy. You’ll hear graceful, fun covers of The Velvet Underground’s “Rock & Roll” and Phosphorescent’s “Song for Zula” woven in seamlessly among Torres’ upbeat tunes.
Coming in at just over 35 minutes, TL;DR captures the new T0W3RS at the height of Torres’ focus, creativity and vision. The album is available now as a white 12” vinyl record, CD and digital download via Phuzz Records.
"For the uninitiated, T0W3RS sounds a little like the alt-J singer joining STRFKR to cover LCD Soundsystem. Check out TL;DR‘s blend of slick vocals, shimmering guitars, and tight beats..." - Entertainment Weekly
"Raleigh, NC’s Derek Torres takes the brightest parts of synth pop and twists them into self-deprecating nuggets of alone-on-the-dance-floor anthems.” - CMJ
"T0W3RS has harnessed the perfect infusion of indie and electro with a crisper, more intuitive sound, lyrical depth, and none of the fluff that sometimes taints indie music." - Culture Collide
"I am going to have a hard time describing this other than to say it was the best thing I have ever seen at any Hopscotch. I'm not shy to go to that level with what he has done. He has this massive band, six or seven people I think. Everybody is dressed to the nines, and there he is, and he's channeling this character. He's got these Michael Jackson dance moves out of nowhere, and he's channeling Beck, Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger and Dan Bejar, all at the same time. He's developed this magnetic frontman persona that I have never seen him have… It was above and beyond. It was not just that Derek did an amazing job, it was that he pulled this shit out of nowhere. It was packed. There was a line around the block, and for good reason. The new songs are great - I'm still processing the entire affair. For the final song, these two women in skin-tight silver bodysuits with masks painted on came out with platforms, and they did this choreographed contortionist dance thing — one of them was Derek's sister, he said. The level of talent on that stage didn't make sense. I'm amazed that I saw that at all.” - Creative Loafing
"The spacey synth notes of T0W3RS' "Cups" soon give way to an ebullient chorus that's sure to get toes tapping... it’s a fun little tune that moves from spacey, echoey synths in the beginning to a joyous latter section, accented by some plinking percussion." - PopMatters
"Best Local Act... Backed by a full band and featuring performances from two silver spandex-clad areal dancers, the show was an absolute full-on celebration. With a stage presence reminiscent of my best memories of Of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes, Torres led the crowd into a glittery frenzy..." - Posture Magazine
"Lead songwriter and singer Derek Torres has used his T0W3RS moniker to go from lo-fi, country-tinged psychedelia to expansive, galloping future-pop to, most recently, an electronic-heavy collection of song-sermons that pull Torres’ innermost feelings into sharper focus. A band turned solo act, T0W3RS hasn’t lost any of the momentum amassed by a steady stretch of heralded live sets. In fact, at WKNC’s annual Double Barrel Benefit in February, Torres lit up a jammed Cat’s Cradle as if exploring the stage for the first time, unencumbered by traditional instrumentation. The evolution of T0W3RS may never be easy to trace, but it will always be fun to share in." - Hopscotch Music Festival
"Whether instigating scavenger hunts or playing shows as a karaoke version of his own band, Derek Torres has always been creative when it comes to the experimental indie pop of T0W3RS. The template has shifted from rock to pop and, in the last year, from a full band to a solo project… His new "Silk Hope" grows from a disco shrug to a classic rock cruiser. There's no question the band's a moving target, but thus far it's been an entertaining one." - INDY Weekly