Music Hall of Williamsburg
TOPS

TOPS

Ellise Barbara's Black Space

Fri, September 29, 2017

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

Music Hall of Williamsburg

Brooklyn, NY

$15 advance / $18 day of show

This event is 18 and over

TOPS
TOPS
For Sugar At The Gate, their third and most ambitious album to date, Montreal's 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.

Layers of sarcasm and sincerity seem to enfold the group like flower petals. Irrepressible jokers in conversation, their album's vinyl download codes come folded up inside drug baggies. TOPS' flawless musicianship and profound grasp of pop fundamentals are the surest sign that at the core, it's all as real as it sounds. 

All of TOPS recordings have been produced by the band, who have self recorded the majority of their work to date. Riley Fleck’s distinct and controlled drumming style is key to the arrangements on Sugar at the Gate. A sensitivity in his playing and strong sense of discretion is a distinguishing feature of TOPS’ sound. Sugar at the Gate will be released on June 2nd 2017, worldwide on Arbutus Records.
Ellise Barbara's Black Space
Ellise Barbara's Black Space
Ellise Barbara is a Montreal-based avant-garde singer-songwriter, artist and thinker whose musical output combines elements of brazen 80s funk, late 70s underground, and downtown no wave. A lover of the odd, dark, and overlooked elements in pop music, they find inspiration in unexpected sources, like off-the-radar acts Su Tissue, Kashif, Francis Bebey, and obscure new wave duo Rexy. Rising from artist-run spaces such as La Brique and Drones Club at the turn of the current decade, Ellise Barbara has seen their work soar to enduring acclaim in Japan and Europe, in a short career whose highlights include duets with Laetitia Sadier & R. Stevie Moore. Since going on an indeterminate hiatus, Barbara's efforts have been partly centered around LGBTQ (and mostly trans) community organizing. They're working on new music with their new band the Black Space, whose lineup is solely made of musicians of Sub-Saharan African descent and mission is centered around the theme of blackness and the rejection of racialized tropes within all spaces.
Venue Information:
Music Hall of Williamsburg
66 North 6th St
Brooklyn, NY, 11249
http://www.musichallofwilliamsburg.com/