The charmingly cute Spanish indie pop group Papa Topo began in 2008 as the vehicle for the songs of Adrià Arbona Orero.
Recording at first directly into his computer microphone and using toy instruments, then posting songs on MySpace, he caught the ear of Elefant recording artist Guille Milkyway of La Casa Azul. After putting together a group, which featured vocalist Paulita Demaíz, to help expand the sound, Orero met up with producer Alberto Lozano in 2009 and recorded a few songs, including the sunny singalong "Oso Panda." After posting videos of the songs to MySpace, the bandmembers found themselves riding a groundswell of popularity that was fueled in part by a post on Spanish music blog Je Ne Sais Pop. Papa Topo soon signed up with Elefant and released a partially re-recorded (by Milkyway) version of "Oso Panda" as their first single. They shot an equally cute and disturbing video for the song and, along the way, received a critical boost from Everett True on his blog. Their next single, the punk-inspired "La Chica Vampire," was released in 2011, and their mini-LP Rotación y Traslación followed in 2012. The group had always had a fluid membership, but one of the constants, Demaíz, left after the LP's release. The group's early-2013 single "Sangre en los Zapatos (Mi Amor)" featured a revamped lineup and production by their old friend Milkyway. After several years of gigging and recording with this new lineup, Orero finally announced that Papa Topo's impending full-length debut was complete. Released by Elefant in the summer of 2016, Ópalo Negro was produced by fellow Spaniard Sergio Pérez of the band SVPER. ~ Tim Sendra, Rovi