TOPS are a four-piece band from Montreal, equal parts girls and guys, delivering a raw punk take on AM studio pop. Their new record, Picture You Staring, is a lush array of timelessly crafted songs.
Picture You Staring gathers strength through intimacy. Self-written, recorded, produced, and the result of 12 months holed up in Arbutus Records’ Montreal warehouse. This album contains 12 impeccable examples of pop craftsmanship that will reward repeat listeners.
Singer Jane Penny gives a voice to the silent girl at the edge of the circle, disillusioned but honest and unpretentious, a tone complemented by David Carriere’s seamless guitar playing and the measured drumming of Riley Fleck. TOPS’ songs are delivered with a cool restraint that blend with the individuality and self-assured desire of their female lead.
David and Jane met in middle school, but didn’t stay in touch until they reunited in Montreal where they’ve been collaborating since 2009. Unintentionally initiating a pop music scene in Montreal, their strange homemade recordings have gained an international following. In 2011 they joined Riley Fleck and started jamming at the loft space La Brique where they wrote and recorded their first record, Tender Opposites. TOPS continue to engineer and produce their own records and make their own videos in collaboration with fellow artists and filmmakers. In opposition to commercially driven pop music, TOPS pursuit lies in creating moving songs that succeed earnestly, disregarding trends and myth-making.
Jane, David and Riley have equal footing with their respective instruments and their sparring exceeds the imagination of any individual. For their new record TOPS have enlisted Madeline Glowicki to play bass. Like Jane and David, Madeline grew up in Edmonton, Alberta and went to the same elementary as Jane. A natural musician, and contributor to the Editorial magazine, the band are happy to have another prairie girl on board. LA based painter Jessica Dean Harrison created the artwork especially for the release. It is a conceptual interpretation of the record’s title, continued in a large poster depicting a group scene, included with the purchase of a vinyl record. If you’d like to learn more about Riley, pre-order the album on iTunes and you will receive an informational PDF created by his bandmates that depicts his growth and development into a man.