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Tops Get Colder & Closer

  • Published in News

Hot on the heels of their latest single ‘Witching Hour’, Montreal four-piece Tops have shared a new song and video from their forthcoming album I Feel Alive, which is set for release on April 3 via Musique Tops. ‘Colder & Closer’ is a shimmering, lean pop production with lyrical meditations on the social isolation that often plagues casual intimacy. The Mashie Alam-directed visual artfully represents this by following singer Jane Penny through an alternating lens of thermal and normal vision.

Speaking on the video, Alam says: "Jane had this really amazing vision where she hoped to convey the feeling of being immensely close to someone. The choice of using thermal footage was made because we wanted to see, feel, and immerse ourselves into the varying temperatures of the body as it heats up, cools down, responds to touch, and feels alone. We created a movement composition that travels between a live action world and a thermal world! The idea was to visually explore the dynamic of being far (in the live action world) and being close (in the thermal world)! Eventually the juxtaposing jumps between the two worlds merge into an immersive thermal universe to evoke a climactic sense of closeness from where there is no return."

I Feel Alive is Tops fourth full-length, following 2017's Sugar At The Gate and follows singles ‘Echo of Dawn’ and ‘Seven Minutes’ from last year. Their trademark sound of beguiling melodies over soft-rock grooves, with touches of '80s sophisti-pop and a contemporary experimental palette is intact, but bolder and more expansive. The songs manage to be both immediately catchy and deceptively deep, with Penny's literary lyrics adding an extra dimension to the pure pop hooks. Satisfying yet far from predictable, this is a record to be savoured, revealing itself slowly, gaining power and poignancy with each listen.

Beneath the soaring melodies and crisp production, I Feel Alive balances the giddiness of a new relationship with the agony of leaving old things behind. It's an introspective record that you can dance to, music that hits in an immediate rush but sticks around, lingering like the memory of a perfect doomed love affair-both the joy and the pain, until it becomes a part of your life forever.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

May 18 - Brighton, UK @ The Hope & Ruin

May 19 - Nottingham, UK @ Bodega

May 20 - Dublin, Ireland @ Whelan's

May 21 - Glasgow, UK @ Stereo

May 22 - Manchester, UK @ YES

May 23 - London, UK @ All Points East Festival

May 24 - Bristol, UK @ The Louisiana

May 25 - Birmingham, UK @ Hare and Hounds




TOPS - Sugar At The Gate

  • Published in Albums

Canadian Indie outfit TOPS, deliver a slick and charming proposal in latest release, Sugar At The Gate.

Apart from the pacifying prowess that lead vocalist Jane Perry has demonstrated here, and with such virtuosity and effortless energy, there are some overall moments of pure joy to behold.  

Compared to previous releases, this time around it would seem as though the influence of attractive pop hooks and dance floor style backing tracks have been left back in 2014.

The mellowed, gentle and earthy unbending that takes place within ‘I Just Wanna Make You Real’ and ‘Seconds Erase’ is suggestive of acts such as Beach House or Tennis, but TOPS somehow pull off a cleaner, overall narrative.

Not all of Sugar At The Gate takes this laid-back shape; ‘Petals’ is a track that was made for Summer. Its weaving bass line – which works magic alongside a spotlessly clean guitar and straightforward beat – exemplifies why we crave the warm season year on year: uncomplicated and leisurely. The added fortune of a pronounced voice really helps to sell it. The album on the whole has a couple of these tasteful tunes within it.

On Sugar At The Gate TOPS have put forward a bit of a mixed bag. Combinations of tempos and topics dotted throughout the release make for a record that never stays in one place for too long. That said, this record relies heavily on an accommodating listener to help bring to the surface what TOPS are looking to accomplish. There are some delightful moments that deserve to be heard and then carefully lay open here. There are plenty of worse decisions ready to be made.

Sugar At The Gate is available from amazon & iTunes.

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