After announcing their new album Montreal’s TOPS are back to share the video for “Petals”. The clip, which frontwoman Jane Perry directed herself. The band, enlisted some of Los Angeles’ top celebrity impersonators so that they could party with the likes of Prince, Michael Jackson, and Madonna.
“‘Petals’ is a song that tries to capture the energy and positive feelings of our band,” Jane explained to Dazed. “I invited all these people to come (to the video shoot) from online gig sites. Me, a good friend, and another friend decided to put it together and see if it would work. We were able to shoot on 35mm film, so it ended up with a strangeness and a cinematic quality that exceeded my expectation.”
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.
Sugar at the Gate
1. Cloudy Skies
4. Dayglow Bimbo
5. Marigold & Gray
6. Cutlass Cruiser
7. Hours Between
8. I Just Wanna Make You Real
9. Seconds Erase
6/2 – Bristol, GB @ Southbank Club
6/4 – Manchester, GB @ The Ritz
6/5 – Brighton, GB @ The Joker
6/6 – London, GB @ The Dome
6/7 – Paris, FR @ Point Ephemere
6/8 – Amsterdam, NL @ De School
6/9 – Hamburg, DE @ Uebel & Gefaehrlich
6/10 – Berlin, DE @ Roter Salon
6/11 – Warsaw, PL @ Cafe Kulturalna
6/12 – Krakow, PL @ Klub RE