Real girls in their own place.
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Inside Jordan Topf’s Apartment
by Sophie Saint Thomas @thebowiecat
photos by Michael Edwards @meinmyplace
Several weeks ago in the depths of New York City winter, I am welcomed into a large warm Williamsburg apartment by Jordan Topf, the singer/guitarist and frontman of the band Mainland. He explains to me that the space used to be for ballroom dancing, as he discovered through Google. A small frame yet carrying an abundant energy, Jordan is wearing an Elvis t-shirt, whom also appears on posters in his apartment, along with drawing he’s done himself, and an American flag. “Oh yeah, I love Elvis. I love that he’s the king. He’s got great moves.” When asked if he can replicate such moves, he simply replies, in his slow-paced, sexy yet slightly disinterested voice, that to find out I’d have to come see him perform in person.
Originally from Santa Cruz, Jordan is deeply in love with New York City, as is the rest of the group, which consists of Corey Mullee on guitar, Alex Pitta on bass, and Dylan Longstreet on drums.
“My parents played music, like my mom, like she plays piano, and my dad he played the guitar and always had a guitar around and I picked it up at age eight. And just started playing then and moved to New York when I was 18 to start bands. My dad and his whole family were from here so I was interested in that. And the New York mentality and the history of it all, like the music history, Lou Reed, and everybody, Bob Dylan, they all got their start in New York. I just feel like every artist and every musician should come here at some point in their career. It’s an important place to start,” says Jordan.
The glamorous yet gritty nature of New York is felt strongly on their new “Shiner” EP, which came out February 25th. The cover art is a subtle photo of a couch taken by Jordan himself, where body dents can be discretely seen from the X-rated movements just taken place on that same couch by him and his girlfriend. The EP sounds like a a nice balance of calm and noise, “polish and raw” in the words of Jordan. The beauty and the beast, punk and pop. Jordan credits most of his song-writing inspirations to “girl problems and wandering around Chinatown.” It was produced by Jim Eno of Spoon. As a Spoon fan, Jordan recognizes the beauty that four years ago when he was watching Spoon perform at Radio City Music Hall, he never dreamed he would be in the studio making music himself with Jim.
As Jordan uses his bar tending skills to make Old Fashioneds in his kitchen for himself and Michael Edwards, Me In My Place founder and photographer, he shares stories of the band’s grey van, named “Luci the Beast” because it has 666 on the license plate. The group likes to listen to a lot of gangster rap on the van, and their videographer got lucky on the hood once, among other road tales. With his cocktail in hand, a gun in another, Jordan is a natural face for the camera, bonding with Michael and posing in front of his American flag. With or without his “rock star” boots on, a gift from a photographer after a shoot with French Elle, the persona fits him like a perfectly worn-in leather boot.
Their record release party is this Friday, March 7th, at the Studio at Webster Hall.