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.