Montreal weirdo-pop band TOPS formed in 2011 out of the disbandment of Silly Kissers, an early group that also included like-minded indie crooner Sean Nicholas Savage.
TOPS were formed by longtime collaborators vocalist Jane Penny and guitarist David Carriere, and they were soon joined by drummer Riley Fleck and bassist Tom Gillies. The band was associated with the same scene that spawned acts like Doldrums, Grimes, and Mac DeMarco, and recorded its 2012 debut LP, Tender Opposites, for Arbutus Records, the label central to that scene. The album was met with critical praise for its strange blend of outsider perspectives and AM pop songcraft. Gillies was replaced by bassist Madeline Glowicki before the recording of TOPS' second album, 2014's dreamy Picture You Staring. For a deliberate change of environment, the group recorded its third LP at a house in Glendale, California. The resulting Sugar at the Gate arrived on Arbutus in June 2017 with Jackson MacIntosh (Sheer Agony) taking over on bass. The group added fifth member Marta Cikojevic on keyboards in time for a spring tour of Europe. ~ Fred Thomas & Marcy Donelson, Rovi