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TOPS announce new album ‘I Feel Alive’ and share title track- UK tour in May!

January 23, 2020
Photo credit: Justin Aranha

TOPS- Announce new album ‘I Feel Alive’
  due April 3rd via Musique TOPS
– Release new song and video “I Feel Alive”
– UK and European tour in May

Montreal four-piece TOPS enter the new decade by announcing a new album. I Feel Alive’ will be released on April 3rd via the band’s own label, Musique TOPS, and today they have shared the title track, along with extensive North American and European live dates.

The first glimpse comes in the form of the album’s title-track, a bracing pop gem shadowed with dark undertones. An ode to new love, Penny sings: “I feel alive looking in your eyes” with the exuberance that comes with the early stages of romance, the discovery of a deep love. But love is complicated, and within the joy and happiness is the pain of leaving someone else behind.

Accompanying the track is a video directed by Mashie Alam – a tongue-in-cheek clip documenting the band at a photoshoot.

The artwork for TOPS’ fourth LP sets the tone for the music enclosed. Inspired by the work of photographer Thomas Ruff, TOPS’ vocalist Jane Penney stares bare-faced down the lens – simple and un-posed, yet striking with starkness and vulnerability.

The image captures the fraught nature of being alive, which the 11 tracks on the album explore. Penny’s remarkably expressive voice is front and centre. On this record more than any other, she sings with passion and energy, without sacrificing the honesty and introspection that gives her voice its depth. The songs cover a range of experiences but at it’s heart ‘I Feel Alive’ is a record about resilience, the ways we can grow from for our pain and the strength that comes from learning to stand on your own as an individual.

‘I Feel Alive’ is TOPS’ fourth full-length, following 2017’s ‘Sugar At The Gate’ and follows singles “Echo of Dawn” and “Seven Minutes” from last year. Their trademark sound of beguiling melodies over soft-rock grooves, with touches of ’80s sophisti-pop and a contemporary experimental palette is intact, but bolder and more expansive. The songs manage to be both immediately catchy and deceptively deep, with Penny’s literary lyrics adding an extra dimension to the pure pop hooks. Satisfying yet far from predictable, this is a record to be savoured, revealing itself slowly, gaining power and poignancy with each listen.

For ‘I Feel Alive’, the band members convened in a basement studio in Montreal, recording for the first time with keyboardist Marta Cikojevic who joined the band as a live member in 2017. “From the first time we practiced with her it was clear that we were in sync musically, and we found ourselves improvising together at the first rehearsal” says Penny. “Having Marta manning the keys allowed me to reach for my flute, and gave me the chance to integrate my flute playing with the writing process, using it as an expressive instrument rather than more production element which it has been in the past.”

She continues: “We’d spent a lot of time apart, not working on new stuff or touring, just living life, all in different cities,” says Penny. When we went to make I Feel Alive we all had a good sense of what we were trying to do and a renewed energy towards playing together. The goal was to get in a room together and play, not holding anything back.”

“It was a quick process,” says guitarist and fellow song-writer David Carriere. “We would work all day writing a song and then demo them the same evening, relying on our natural chemistry as a band to let the songs come into their own.” The band’s line-up is completed by Riley Fleck on drums.

Beneath the soaring melodies and crisp production, ‘I Feel Alive’ balances the giddiness of a new relationship with the agony of leaving old things behind. It’s an introspective record that you can dance to, music that hits in an immediate rush but sticks around, lingering like the memory of a perfect doomed love affair-both the joy and the pain, until it becomes a part of your life forever.

‘I Feel Alive’ will be released on April 3rd via Musique TOPS. Pre-order at TOPS.lnk.to/IFeelAlive

Upcoming Tour Dates:

Apr 3 – Las Vegas, NV @ Bunkhouse Saloon*
Apr 4 – Tucson, AZ @ 191 Toole*
Apr 5 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar*
Apr 6 – El Paso, TX @ Lowbrow Palace*
Apr 7 – Marfa, TX @ Lost Horse Saloon*
Apr 9 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk*
Apr 10 – San Antonio, TX @ Paper Tiger*
Apr 11 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada*
Apr 13 – Memphis, TN @ The Hi Tone Cafe*
Apr 14 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West*
Apr 15 – Asheville, NC @ The Mothlight*
Apr 16 – Washington D.C. @ Union Stage*^
Apr 17 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s^
Apr 18 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom*^
Apr 20 – Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall*^
Apr 21 – Montreal, QC @ Theatre Rialto#^
Apr 22 – Toronto, ON @ Adelaide Hall#^
Apr 23 – Detroit, MI @ Deluxx Fluxx#^
Apr 24 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle#^
Apr 25 – Minneapolis, MN @ Turf Club#^
Apr 28 – Vancouver, BC @ Imperial Theatre#
Apr 29 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile#
Apr 30 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge#
May 1 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent#
May 2 – Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre#
May 4 – San Diego, CA @ Music Box#

May 11 – Berlin, Germany @ Berghain Kantine 
May 12 – Hamburg, Germany @ Molotow
May 13 – Köln, Germany @ Bumann & Sohn
May 14 – Münster, Germany @ Gleis 22 
May 15 – Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Paradiso
May 16 – Paris, France @ Le Beau festival @ La Station
May 18 – Brighton, UK @ The Hope & Ruin
May 19 – Nottingham, UK @ Bodega
May 20 – Dublin, Ireland @ Whelan’s
May 21 – Glasgow, UK @ Stereo
May 22 – Manchester, UK @ YES 
May 24 – Bristol, UK @ The Louisiana
May 25 – Birmingham, UK @ Hare and Hounds
May 27 – Lille, France @ La Bulle Café
May 28 – Brussels, Belgium @ Botanique
May 29 – Groningen, Netherlands @ Vera 
May 30 – Utrecht, Netherlands @ Ekko 
Jun 1 – Barcelona, Spain @ Primavera Sound @ Sala Apolo

*Honey Harper as direct support
#Sorry Girls as direct support
^Better Person as support

Ticket info at tttopsss.com

‘I Feel Alive’ album track list:
1. Direct Sunlight
2. I Feel Alive
3. Pirouette
4. Ballads & Sad Movies
5. Colder & Closer
6. Witching Hour
7. Take Down
8. Drowning In Paradise
9. OK Fine Whatever
10. Looking To Remember
11. Too Much
 
Links:
https://twitter.com/TTTOPSSS

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