Culture / Entertainment

Meet Topline Addicts, Your New Favorite Dallas Band

An Indie Pop Group With '60s Retro Roots

BY // 11.09.23
photography Emily McClure

They’re a little bit 1960s. A little bit indie rock. A little bit power pop. They describe themselves as “if The Beach Boys and the Foo Fighters had a rock baby.” They’re Topline Addicts, and they’re about to be your new favorite band … that sounds like your old favorite band. 

Despite having only a handful of singles to their name, the five-piece group formed in 2020 has been drawing crowds in the Dallas and Fort Worth areas with their moody blend of golden oldies and modern indie standards. Even if you’re not from DFW, you may have seen them on social media. (They currently have 29,000 followers on TikTok, which is where this writer discovered them.) Their look is hard to forget: twin brothers Carter Brooks and Connor Brooks on lead vocals and keyboard respectively, Alex “Percy” Percival on bass, Gavin Holsopple on guitar, and Jacob Alley on drums, all wearing matching three-piece suits in a dark wine red. 

The past couple of years were a rough time to enter the music scene, but 2024 brings promises as the band plans to release their debut album. In the meantime, look out for their newest single “Dancing With Another Guy,” available on all streaming platforms at midnight EST on Friday, November 10. A release show will take place the following night at The Ridglea Room in Fort Worth. 

From their at-home recording studio just north of Dallas, twins Carter and Connor of Topline Addicts spoke with PaperCity about musical inspirations, songwriting, and their newest release. 

TOPLINE EDIT-1-2 (Photo by Emily McClure)
Topline Addicts is an indie rock band based in Richardson, TX. (Photo by Emily McClure)

A lot of your music has very nostalgic 1960s vibes. Is there a reason you went for that sound?

Carter Brooks: There’s a Chicago indie band called Gold Motel that was active from 2009 to 2011. They only did a couple of records, but their sound was the biggest influence for me.

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There are a lot of indie bands now that have these drenched-in-reverb effects, and I just thought, what if we did the opposite? And we did what indie rock sounded like 20 years ago with The Strokes, The Killers, The Hives. 

Carter Brooks (Photo by Emily McClure) topline addicts
Lead vocalist and guitarist Carter Brooks of Topline Addicts (Photo by Emily McClure)

Who would fans be surprised to learn is a musical influence for you guys?

Carter Brooks: Cole Porter! He wrote a lot of show tunes and old-school Broadway tunes, and a bunch of jazz standards, that kind of stuff. I definitely like a lot of musical theater. I didn’t do a whole lot of music growing up; I did a lot more acting and musical theater in middle and high school, so my ear tends to gravitate towards that. 

Percy Percival (Photo by Emily McClure)
Bassist Percy Percival of Topline Addicts (Photo by Emily McClure)

What inspired the matching dark red suits? 

Carter Brooks: There’s a ’90s Tom Hanks movie called That Thing You Do! That’s one of my favorite movies because it’s got a really catchy ’60s pop tune in it. (By the way, that song was written by Adam Schlesinger from Fountains of Wayne, which is also part of why we love them!) But the matching suits were partially a nod to that. 

It helps us have a sense of unity on stage when we’re playing, and it lets the audience know that we care a lot about the show. We just want to visually show that this is really important to us, so I hope maybe it’s important to you.

What is your proudest accomplishment as a band so far?

Connor Brooks: Prevailing through the intolerant work environment that we created. (All laugh.) 

Carter Brooks: We wanted to be in a band with people that were bringing something to the table, where everybody was super involved and wanted to be here. It took a bunch of cycling through some people until we found the right fit, because we don’t play the kind of music that everybody in Dallas wants to play. But because of that whole process, we’ve all become best friends. 

Connor Brooks: We’ve created an environment where we are all very driven and on the same page. With the lineup that we have now, every single person is pulling their weight and then some. And even though we put on the hat and get to work, afterward, we’re drinking beer or hanging out and talking about life. We’re great friends outside of it. The dynamic is just unmatched.

Connor Brooks (Photo by Emily McClure) topline addicts
Keyboardist Connor Brooks of Topline Addicts (Photo by Emily McClure)

When thinking about live shows you’ve done, is there a story that comes to mind?

Carter Brooks: A great experience that we had was our first show at The Ridglea Room in Fort Worth. We hired a videographer to come out and record it, and then I pulled all the multitrack so I could make a full live movie of our first show. That’s on our website now. 

We had just gotten a new lineup — this was the show that Connor joined the band for. Three weeks before the show, we got a brand new band. None of us really knew what to expect, but we got up there knowing that however good or bad it went, it was gonna be on video forever. It was a galvanizing experience. 

Right now, you only have five songs that are released. What else do you play at live shows? 

Carter Brooks: We have a few unreleased songs that we’ve been playing. Those songs are going to be on our first album that we’re recording right now. Our show can get stretchy. “Dance With Me” is a three minute song, but when we play it live, we’ll pull people up on stage from the audience, and they’ll get up there and play with us. Gavin might solo, he might go crazy. Then Connor will get up and battle Gavin a little bit. That song could be 10 minutes long sometimes. It just depends on the night and what we’re doing. 

Gavin Holsopple (Photo by Emily McClure)
Guitarist Gavin Holsopple of Topline Addicts (Photo by Emily McClure)

Tell us about your upcoming single, “Dancing With Another Guy.”

Carter Brooks: It’s a collaboration with a Brooklyn artist named Henry Miller. Henry reached out to us on TikTok saying that he would love to do a collab, and he sent me one song, and then he sent me a second song. He wasn’t thinking much of the second one at the time; he was like, “I didn’t really know what to do with it, but I was jamming up to your music and got inspired to work on this.” 

Henry is going to be flying here in November for our next show, which will be our single release show. So we’re going to actually get to play the song live together, which is really, really exciting.

Jacob Alley (Photo by Emily McClure)
Drummer Jacob Alley of Topline Addicts (Photo by Emily McClure)

Finally, I’m sure many fans have been wondering: What does the name “Topline Addicts” mean?

Carter Brooks: A topline is your vocal melody. There are people that are just topline writers, all they write is your vocal melody. I don’t really love writing lyrics. I like writing a fun melody hook … and then I don’t want to finish it and write actual words. So we’ll just jump on to the next one and then just try to write more fun melodies. It’s an inside joke about me being a bad lyric writer. 

Listen to “Dancing With Another Guy” by Topline Addicts ft. Henry Miller on all streaming platforms on Friday, November 10 at 12 am EST. Topline Addicts will perform at The Ridglea Room, Fort Worth, on Saturday, November 11 at 7 pm. Tickets here

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