Seattle still has the strong capacity to captivate locals with its diverse entanglement in music and breed creativity and inspiration. This is very much the story of the Topacio sisters who grew up in Seattle going to local shows since they were eight. It’s only natural the two went on to form the moody, yet dazzling indie dream-pop outfit that is La Fonda.
I sat down with Veronica and Valerie Topacio to chat about everything La Fonda and beyond. The two sisters took turns telling me about their longstanding love affair with Seattle and its notorious venues as well as future plans for the band.
After growing up in a household that regularly broke out into song, the Topacio sisters were no strangers to performance. In the summer of 2014, they took it to the next level and began writing songs together and busking at Pike Place Market. After then re-connecting with long-time friend Jesse Cole they found the perfect addition on guitar. Soon after they found bassist Bryan Dever who brought on his childhood friend Patrick Hodge to rock the keys. The line-up was then complete. The group swiftly put their nose to the grind at Electrokitty Studios and came out with their first EP “Good Love” in 2016.
After simply sending the first email, La Fonda was able to play The Crocodile for their debut EP release. Coincidentally, this is the place the two sisters told me they hold dearest in the city. Well, Belltown in general. They told me a romantic story about their grandma renting a spot in a little building off 4th and Blanchard back in the early ’90s. Throughout their adolescence and teenage years they would visit their grandma’s spot and go to all-ages shows at The Crocodile.
La Fonda’s “FOMO” Music Video
They’ve since become residents of Belltown for the last several years. From the positive relationship the band has built with the venue, they were invited to open for Snail Mail. Both sisters made note of this being one of their happiest moments as a band and how much they appreciated The Croc for considering them for the bill. They went on to broaden their appreciation to Seattle as a whole.
When asking them if the city and the PNW were integral to their project it was an immediate yes. Valerie said “Seattle is so key for us. Seattle is our home, we grew up here, we live here.” She went on to say that, of course, every musician dreams of showcasing their stuff around the world, but the hometown vibes need to stay intact. “We got our start busking at Pike Place Market and we want the music to reflect that,” Valerie continued.
She spoke about going on their first tour last spring, and the mixture of feelings that came from being in someone else’s hometown. After realizing they can take the positive communal, familial vibes of Seattle and share it with different places, “it’s what Veronica and I are all about.” Veronica spoke up to say that the local music scene here is a driving force in her own inspiration.
The two then brought up their sheer excitement to play with Whitney Monge this coming weekend for final night of RMR’s 2nd annual Seattle World Tour at Columbia City Theater. They went into detail about following her since her days similarly busking at Pike Place Market. “There’s just so much good music coming out of the city right now,” Veronica said as she then spoke about how great it is to get to do events and play shows with local acts she’s truly a fan of. Both sisters said you can often find them at rocking local gigs front and center when they’re not performing. It’s this spirit and sheer love of (affordable) live music that keeps local scenes alive.
In 2019 you can expect La Fonda to be releasing a ton of content. They’re currently about to go back in for another 20 days in the studio, with almost equal time spent mixing and mastering. The Topacio sisters lent heavy praise to their engineer Garrett Reynolds at Electrokitty Studios. He’ll be putting in work with them as they decide the most thoughtful, and impactful way to release this large handful of songs. Learn more about potential news from the band after their mesmerizing performance at Columbia City Theater January 12th. Bring clothing for donation for Mary’s Place if possible!
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Here’s to the ones who have our backs. To our truth-tellers, cheerleaders, toughest critics. To the friends that shelter us from drama and keep us lifted through life’s unexpected hurdles…. Thank you. For where would we be without our closest confidants reminding us that it’s okay to work hard, have wild dreams and to keep pushing ourselves to grow into the beings we were meant to be. The process of becoming is only a struggle and a chore if we choose to see it that way. So here’s to showing up in the biggest ways we know how this next year and rooting for each other along the way as we attempt to give it all we got. No reservations, without hesitation, just movement and actions towards our dreams. 🔮⚡️💝