Today, Montreal four-piece TOPS are celebrating the launch of their own record label, Musique TOPS, by sharing two new songs. The haunted 70’s folk elegance of “Echo of Dawn” acts as the perfect companion for the energetic “Seven Minutes,” a classic example of the band’s uptempo, breezy sound.
“Echo of Dawn” was written when singer Jane Penny was living with fellow band member David Carriere in California, the song’s minimalistic soundscapes inspired by the soft and idyllic scenery around her. Penny says: “Echo of Dawn is a love song to the thing deep inside of me that understands the scale of everything that existed before my time, to the forces of the universe that shape reality in such a powerful way, the awe-inspiring gift that we are here, and my fears about our ability to destroy ourselves.”
“Seven Minutes“ speaks on the crippling effects of self-doubt and insecurity. “I like the way a song can be upbeat and groovy and still deal with dark subject matter,” Penny says. “The chords become a source of empowerment against those bad thoughts. It’s important to move past these feelings and keep doing your thing, but the negativity we hold for ourselves can make you feel like a fraud, the song is almost like an imposter syndrome anthem.”
TOPS were formed in Montreal in 2011 when song-writing duo David Carriere and Jane Penny decided to join forces with drummer Riley Fleck. Since then they have become one of the most influential underground bands of the past decade, creating a space for sophisticated pop music in the indie world.
Within the vibrant community surrounding Arbutus Records at the time of their formation, TOPS forged a unique sound. The only traditional ‘band’ on the label’s roster, they’ve built a significant following of fans, a dedicated audience at their live shows and a musical connection that continues to deepen as the years go by. With their newly minted label – Musique TOPS – the band is poised to release their best work to date.
Their tendency to opt towards making straight-forward stripped down and honest recordings lets their pop songwriting shine out in the open. With a heart firmly attached to their sleeves, their songcraft delves into the emotional intricacy of personal relationships, asking questions about power and desire. Riley Fleck’s measured drumming and David Carriere’s trademark guitar licks mesh with Marta Cikojevic’s lush keyboards. All these elements work in tandem and in service of Jane Penny’s unmistakable, wistful voice.
The result of this mixture is a collection of three self-produced records and a handful of singles that cover a range of moods and a complex emotional realm while maintaining a groove and musicality. Soft rock-infused pop hits flow easily, surrounded by their signature moody ballads
04/03 – Las Vegas, NV | Bunkhouse Saloon
04/04 – Tucson, AZ | 191 Toole
04/05 – Phoenix, AZ | Valley Bar
04/06 – El Paso, TX | Lowbrow Palace
04/07 – Marfa, TX | Lost Horse Saloon
04/09 – Austin, TX | Mohawk
04/10 – San Antonio, TX | Paper Tiger
04/11 – Dallas, TX | Club Dada
04/13 – Memphis, TN | The Hi Tone Cafe
04/14 – Atlanta, GA | Terminal West
04/15 – Asheville, NC | The Mothlight
04/16 – Washington D.C. | Union Stage
04/17 – Philadelphia, PA | Johnny Brenda’s
04/18 – New York, NY | Bowery Ballroom
04/20 – Boston, MA | Brighton Music Hall
04/21 – Montreal, QC | Theatre Rialto
04/22 – Toronto, ON | Adelaide Hall
04/23 – Detroit, MI | Deluxx Fluxx
04/24 – Chicago, IL | Empty Bottle
04/25 – Minneapolis, MN | Turf Club
04/28 – Vancouver, BC | Imperial Theatre
04/29 – Seattle, WA | The Crocodile
04/30 – Portland, OR | Doug Fir Lounge
05/01 – San Francisco, CA | The Independent
05/02 – Los Angeles, CA | El Rey Theatre
05/04 – San Diego, CA | Music Box