By Madison Vain
Updated September 02, 2014 at 09:10 PM EDT


  • Music

TOPS, a four-piece band from Montreal made up of equal parts guys and gals, has released the video for “Way To Be Loved,” off their sophomore LP, Picture You Staring (out today).

Picture You Staring is an intimate affair — in the way it was made as much as the way it feels. Written, recorded, and produced over the course of 12 isolated months in Arbutus Records’ Montreal studio, it has a sound that’s simple, nuanced, and deeply personal. It’s as easy to get lost in your own thoughts as in theirs — or are they one and the same?

When asked about the video, the band says, “The video was inspired by the party scene in Midnight Cowboy and the movie Nowhere by Gregg Araki. We dolled up our place, provided refreshments and tunes. Our friends came with bells on and did their thing, it felt like a low-budget swingers wedding. Message: Be who you are and love one another.”

After cruising through the video and album, we asked the band to make us a playlist and singer Jane Penny came up with what has to be the chillest of collections to chill to. Choices and commentary below.

Jennifer Lara – “I’m In Love”

“David says this song ‘makes being in love cool.’ We found this gem on Studio One Women, a compilation of tracks by women made at Studio One, Jamaica’s most renowned recording studio, it’s like the Motown of Jamaica, where the first great reggae tracks were recorded. ”

The Clash – “Charlie Don’t Surf”

“I’ve always been a fan of The Clash, since I was a little kid, I recently discovered this on their record Sandanista! which has like 36 tracks, which is way too many, believe me :-/ this song is tight though.”

The dB’s – “Black and White”

“Sometimes power pop tracks rule, if they do David usually finds them.”

Art of Noise – “Moments in Love”

This is a beautiful song, Art of Noise are the best avant-garde synth pop group ever.”

Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark – “Souvenir”

Television Personalities – “Silly Girl”

“A guy that says he plays in this band messaged me on Facebook last night, I haven’t responded yet but I was blown away. I’ll try not to say something stupid when I reply.”

Sampha – “Too Much”

“‘Don’t think about it too much’ – great advice that I almost always need to hear.”

FKA twigs – “Two Weeks”

“We love FKA Twigs and so does the rest of the world. Our drummer Riley’s favorite part is the snare roll in the chorus, haha, my favorite part is the vocals.”

The War on Drugs – “Red Eyes”

“We listened to their new record on the road, really good driving music.”

The Stone Roses – “I Wanna Be Adored”

“You should watch the video for this song, Ian Brown is my ideal man in that one, looking really sketchy and goofing off haha.”

Hole – “Doll Parts”

“Riley our drummer picked this one, he says: ‘My friend karaoke’d this song using a mic that was running through a harmonizer pedal at a bizarre after-party night-cap hangout at her best friend/ex girlfriend’s apartment in Toronto a month ago and it’s been stuck in my head ever since.”


  • Music