Mo Troper is returning with his 3rd album and the announcement that he’s signed with Portland’s Tender Loving Empire today. Tender Loving Empire has released an eclectic mix of records including those by Dave Depper, Y La Bamba and Typhoon. They’re adding Troper’s irreverent power pop to the mix with his new album Natural Beauty, due out February 14th. The first single, “Jas From Australia”, is a quintessentially aging millennial ode to falling in love with someone off a message board. The single is accompanied by an animated video that sees Mo going through his day, working at a used video game store, drinking at the bar, before riding into the sky on what appears to be a purple manatee with breasts.
“Jas From Australia” features a melody as buoyant and sweet as anything Ray Davies ever wrote, with a dash of Internet-age urgency mixed in. The song’s straightforward storytelling—Jas was Troper’s first love, they met online when they were teenagers, and never met in person—sets the listener up for this gut-punch two-thirds of the way through the song: “I said I was moving to Melbourne but I lied and now you know.” Troper relays the story of his yearning for a fellow video game nerd saying; “I wrote this song in 10 minutes about the first relationship I was ever in. It was an internet relationship with someone who I met on a video game forum. It was a really innocent romance characterized by a shared love of Nintendo games that was ultimately corrupted by callowness and message board drama. It was a nightmare coordinating a time to talk on the phone since we were on other sides of the world and both were in high school. I would fantasize about moving to Melbourne to be with them, but we never met. It’s the millennial “Thirteen.””