TOPS (all in caps) is a synth pop band that came out of Montreal, Canada in 2012. Rather unnoticed, their soft dreamy indie pop deserves more attention, even though the sound quality isn’t optimal.

Catchy songs like Diamond Looks could have been released in 1986, and sung by The Cars, Blondie or any other cool synth pop band. Nowadays, Toronto’s Alvvays seems to have also taken this route, which TOPS follows too, but the Canadian band has way more depth and a wider sound. The synths really sound cheap on She’s So Bad, but Jane Penny’s voice saves it all. High pitched, with enough reverb to make it sooth, her singing is the main interest on this album, that also lacks serious drumming and bass. Evening is based on a simple snare hit every second almost all the way.

Their pop songs could punch a thousand times more with more depth in their sound. They prove it on VII Babies where the guitar is funkier. But still, it’s thin. And it’s too bad since some songs have good potential.

“Tender Opposites” is Tops’ first full-length album. It was recorded at La Brique, a loft venue which serves as creative hub for artists signed on Arbutus record label. In addition to Perry on vocals, TOPS has David Carriere on keys and guitar, Thom Gillies on bass and Riley Flack on drums. Since then, TOPS has released “Picture You Staring” in 2014, on the same label, with Madeline Glowicki on bass.

TOPS will be playing at The “Ritz” on jean-Talon Street in Montreal, on March 20th, 2015. Click here for tickets.

Tender Opposites
(Arbutus Records, 2012)

-Genre: indie pop
-In the same style as Alvvays, Metric (first albums)

Go to TOPS’s Facebook fanpage
Go to TOP’s YouTube channel

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About The Author

Mélomane invétéré plongeant dans tous les genres et époques, Nicolas Pelletier a publié 6 000 critiques de disques et concerts depuis 1991, dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur, dont il a également été le rédacteur en chef de 2009 à 2014. Il publie "Les perles rares et grands crus de la musique" en 2013, lance le site RREVERB en 2014, et devient stratège numérique des radios de Bell Média en 2015, participant au lancement de la marque iHeartRadio au Canada en 2016. Il dirige maintenant la stratégie numérique d'ICI Musique, la radio musicale de Radio-Canada.