SUGAR AT THE GATE OUT NOW VIA ARBUTUS RECORDS
ANNOUNCES EUROPEAN AND NORTH AMERICAN TOUR
“Their music is undeniably beautiful and, for all its subtleties, often immediately rewarding.” - Exclaim! 8/10
“What sets TOPS apart is their consistency—across three records, they've sharpened their clean hooks and clarified their aesthetic—making soft rock songs that sound good on repeat.” - Pitchfork
“...another genuine and sparkling gem to add to their crown.” - Sidewalk Hustle 8/10
“...refreshingly fussy overachievers.” - NOW 4/5
PHOTO CREDIT : Richmond Lam // DOWNLOAD HIGH-RES
Following the release of their new album Sugar At The Gate, Montreal's TOPS are back to share a new video for the third single for the project, "Further". Says Jane Penny on the video, "I approached the video for 'Further' with the idea of making a promotional music video for a feature film (Wiz Khalifa's 'See You Again' from the Furious 7 soundtrack is a recent example), but in this case the film doesn't exist. The plot is a non-traditional love story between three people - a fleeting, impermanent affair.
I ran into Ellise in Montreal as I was starting to think about the video. She was so poised and charismatic in that moment, and has inspired me since I met her a few years ago. I asked her to be in the video and luckily she agreed. She is a fierce talent; a musician, producer, artist and actor with an excellent catalog of videos, albums and releases as Jef Barbara. She's currently transitioning and tranvisibility was a big motivation for her participation. I'm humbled to have her appear in our video and excited to hear the new music she's working on now.
A three card tarot reading I did while working on the video was the inspiration for the three characters. Riley, the page of cups, is young and boyish, a new possibility. Jackson, the knight of pentacles is the protective and secure provider. And Ellise is the World, which I drew in the centre, between the other two cards. The World card depicts a woman rejoicing in the completion of a journey, the end of a successful cycle and the beginning of a new phase. Ellise' essence and performance embody a similar power for me, commanding everything around her.
I hope the video expands on the sentiment of the song in a way that reflects the feelings at the heart of it."
There is a You Caring page setup to help Ellise with her transition. Donations can be made here : https://www.youcaring.com/elliseellebarbara-854030
TOPS is also announcing a lengthy fall tour, which will see them play shows across North America from September through October before heading to Europe through December.
TOPS TOUR DATES
Jul 8 - New York, NY - Full Moon Festival - TICKETS
Aug 19 - North Gower, ON - Rideau Pines Farm (Arboretum Festival) - TICKETS
Sep 6 - Santa Ana, CA - Constellation Room - TICKETS
Sep 7 - San Diego, CA - Casbah - TICKETS
Sep 8 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour - TICKETS
Sep 9 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall - TICKETS
Sep 11 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir - TICKETS
Sep 12 - Vancouver, BC - Imperial - TICKETS
Sep 13 - Seattle, WA - Barboza - TICKETS
Sep 15 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge - TICKETS
Sep 16 - Denver, CO - Larimer - TICKETS
Sep 18 - Kansas City, MO - The Record Bar - TICKETS
Sep 19 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry - TICKETS
Sep 20 - Chicago, IL - Lincoln Hall - TICKETS
Sep 21 - Bloomington, IN - The Bishop - TICKETS
Sep 22 - Detroit, MI - Marble Bar - TICKETS
Sep 23 - Columbus, OH - Ace Of Cups - TICKETS
Sep 25 - Washington, DC - DC9 - TICKETS
Sep 26 - Baltimore, MD - Metro Gallery - TICKETS
Sep 27 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's - TICKETS
Sep 29 - New York, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg - TICKETS
Sep 30 - Boston, MA - Great Scott - TICKETS
Oct 2 - Toronto, ON - Mod Club - TICKETS
Oct 13 - Montreal, QC - Le National - TICKETS
Oct 26 - Paris, FR - Badaboum - TICKETS
Oct 28 - Bilbao, ES - Bilbao Exhibition Center - TICKETS
Nov 1 - Madrid, ES - Moby Dick - TICKETS
Nov 3 - Porto, PT - Maus Hábitos - TICKETS
Nov 4 - Lisbon, PT - Lux Fragil - TICKETS
Nov 7 - Vevey, CH - Rocking Chair - TICKETS
Nov 8 - Basel, CH - Kaserne - TICKETS
Nov 9 - Vienna, AT - RHIZ
Nov 11 - Berlin, DE - Urban Spress - TICKETS
Nov 14 - Rotterdam, NL - Rotown - TICKETS
Nov 16 - Ramsgate, GB - Ramsgate Music Hall - TICKETS
Nov 17 - London, GB - The Garage - TICKETS
Nov 18 - Manchester, GB - The Deaf Institute - TICKETS
Nov 19 - Glasgow, GB - Broadcast - TICKETS
Nov 21 - Dublin, IL - Whelans - TICKETS
Nov 23 - Amiens, FR - La Lune des Pirates - TICKETS
Nov 24 - Lyon, FR - Le Sonic - TICKETS
Nov 27 - Cologne, DE - King Georg - TICKETS
Nov 28 - Heidelberg, DE - Karlstorbahnhof - TICKETS
Nov 30 - Copenhagen, DK - Huset Kbh - TICKETS
Dec 1 - Stockholm, SE - Brooklyn Bar Debaser - TICKETS
MORE ABOUT TOPS:
For Sugar At The Gate, their third and most ambitious album to date, TOPS peaced out to LA. They lived and recorded at "Glamdale," a mini-mansion and former brothel located in the Jewel City, Glendale, CA. The unassuming record unfolds slowly, taking time to reveal itself. Like nearly everything TOPS does, multiple meanings overlap with the album's title referring to orgasm, but also to carrot chasing, gatekeeping, and the social contract.
Vocalist-songwriter Jane Penny, at this point one of the most distinctive vocalists of her generation, took time during the recording learning how to drive in the Forest Lawn Cemetery parking lot. "Living in LA was living out a teenage fantasy, living with your band and practicing in the garage. It was also the first time we've ever had that much space to make music. I took the experience of living LA as a challenge to make music that I know is real to me, in the sense of it feeling true and containing true feelings, but also recordings of great songs, the real thing."
Jane Penny and David Carriere (guitarist-songwriter) contributed to the album's lyrics as much separately as together. Both their perspectives are heartfelt, with Penny's sometimes cryptic lyrics betraying something of her unconscious.
Layers of sarcasm and sincerity seem to enfold the group like flower petals. Irrepressible jokers in conversation, their album's vinyl download codes come folded up inside drug baggies. TOPS' flawless musicianship and profound grasp of pop fundamentals are the surest sign that at the core, it's all as real as it sounds.
All of TOPS recordings have been produced by the band, who have self recorded the majority of their work to date. Riley Fleck's distinct and controlled drumming style is key to the arrangements on Sugar At The Gate. A sensitivity in his playing and strong sense of discretion is a distinguishing feature of TOPS' sound. Sugar At The Gate released on June 2nd 2017, worldwide on Arbutus Records.