1940 9th St. NW
Washington, DC, 20001
Doors 8:30 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is all ages
TOPS form precious balances. They create emotionally powerful sonic experiences with a contemporary understanding of the classic song structures that have guided pop music since the beginning. A close listen will reveal their assurance as musicians, but their experience derives from playing in warehouse lofts rather than going to school. There is a place for each note in their songs. Complexity disappears behind a veil of familiarity.
The four members of TOPS wander through pop music's capacious past and, though comparisons can be made to yesterday, no clear lineage to a single influence can be drawn. Their broad musical vocabulary places them somewhere alongside contemporary bands who, taking the best aspects of pop music and the organic approach that comes from playing together, makes something that sounds fresh; distilling influences into something that is innovative in the present moment.
Their sound is equally shaped by a deep rooted communication between each member. Jane Penny's lyrics and vocal melodies lead guitar parts, guitar parts are swept up by bass lines, and rhythmic phrases are mimicked by the drums. Because their sound comes from collaboration rather than effects or recording techniques, the production is bare and confidently minimal.
TOPS are central to the Arbutus Records community. Tender Opposites is the band's first full length release, written and recorded by the group themselves(Jane Penny, David Carriere, Riley Fleck, and Thom Gillies) at Montreal's La Brique, the loft venue that serves as the creative hub for the label, a block from where all of current Arbutus roster met.
On 2011’s Brother Loyola, Jessica Jalbert asserted that "I’m not the records that I own, and I’m not the things I’m good at." That those points needed making says plenty about the Edmonton songwriter, who’s since refined her '60s-styled indie-pop under the Faith Healer alias. Jalbert, who seems both assured and self-scrutinizing, sidelines in the kind of record-collecting, plainclothes punk bands who covet the Troggs over the Pistols, which frees up her solo work to dive into her daydreamy subconscious. On Cosmic Troubles, her second solo album, she shares private epiphanies and stares at her bedroom ceiling as the universe unravels.