Fool's Gold is a Los Angeles collective that weaves together Western pop aesthetics with African rhythms and melodies. The group started as a side project of musicians Luke Top (a vocalist and bassist) and Lewis Pesacov (lead guitarist), who set out to explore their shared love of various forms of African music (specifically Congolese, Ethiopian, Eritrean and Malian), Krautrock, and 1980s dance influenced pop music.
The band was formed initially as a collaboration between Top and Pesacov in 2007. Top had immigrated to Los Angeles from Israel at age three, while Pesacov earned a degree in classical music theory and composition while studying underneath American composers Mark Randall-Osborn and Franklin Cox. Joining their cultural and musical backgrounds, the two began writing songs together, many of which would eventually appear on their self-titled debut album in 2009.
Top has said that the band's name came from a trip he and Pesacov took to Northern California in which a mutual friend described a time when she found fool's gold in the ocean.
Fool's Gold expanded to a sizable band composed of numerous accomplished and unique musicians. Among the members joining Top and Pesacov were Garrett Ray, Jimmy Vincent and Matt Popieluch of Pesacov's other band, Foreign Born; Latin American pop star Erica Garcia; former drummer for The Fall, Orpheo McCord; Michael Tapper, formerly of We Are Scientists as well as several other percussionists, musicians and vocalists.
In late 2009, the band was chosen as of one Beyond Race Magazine's 50 Emerging Artists, resulting in a spot in the publication's No. 11 issue, as well as an exclusive Q&A for the magazine's site.
Fool's Gold fiery live shows have earned them invitations to The Hollywood Bowl, The Summerstage in Central Park NYC and The Black Sessions in Paris. Fool's Gold have played events such as Glastonbury, Reading, Leeds, Oya, Austin City Limits Music Festival and London Calling Fest (Amsterdam). Currently touring with The Red Hot Chili Peppers England tour (2011)
The songs for the band's self-titled album Fool's Gold were mostly recorded live over a two-day session at the Sunset Lodge recording studio in Los Angeles in 2008; tracks were later completed in various apartment living rooms in the early parts of 2009. Top and Pesacov collaborated on the music, written over a three-year span.
The album was released on September 29, 2009 through Los Angeles label IAMSOUND Records on both 12" vinyl and compact disc formats; it was subsequently released worldwide on January 25, 2010.
Leave No Trace:
After many tours following the release of their self-titled debut, the once sizeable collective organically evolved into a tight-knit five-member "Band," featuring vocalist/bassist Luke Top, guitarist Lewis Pesacov, drummer Garrett Ray, multi-instrumentalist Brad Caulkins, and percussionist Salvador Placencia. Confident, focused and much more personal, this new line-up allowed for the dynamic of the group to blossom, redefining and sculpting their sound for their sophomore LP.
An obvious distinction in the new record is that it is sung predominately in English. This was an intuitive choice, much in the way the debut album leaned towards Hebrew. "Singing in Hebrew on the first record allowed me to find my voice; it helped me to come out of my shell and push myself into letting go, both as a performer and songwriter" says singer Luke Top. "As the words and themes for this record started to take shape, I knew I had to express them in English, my first language. Being that this is a far more personal and nuanced collection of songs, it was important to me that my ideas were expressed as clearly as possible, both to myself and to the listener."