Front Row Heroes i Klub RE zapraszają Was na koncert zespołu TOPS.
02.12.2020 // GODZ. 20:00 // Klub RE
Bilety: 30 zł / 40 zł:
The artwork for TOPS’ fourth LP sets the tone for the music enclosed. Inspired by the work of photographer Thomas Ruff, TOPS’ vocalist Jane Penney stares bare-faced down the lens – simple and un-posed, yet striking with starkness and vulnerability.
The image captures the fraught nature of being alive, which the 11 tracks on the album explore. Penny's remarkably expressive voice is front and center. On this record more than any other, she sings with passion and energy, without sacrificing the honesty and introspection that gives her voice its depth. The songs cover a range of experiences but at it's heart ‘I Feel Alive’ is a record about resilience, the ways we can grow from for our pain and the strength that comes from learning to stand on your own as an individual.
‘I Feel Alive’ is TOPS’ fourth full-length, following 2017's ‘Sugar At The Gate’ and follows singles "Echo of Dawn" and "Seven Minutes" from last year. Their trademark sound of beguiling melodies over soft-rock grooves, with touches of '80s sophisti-pop and a contemporary experimental palette is intact, but bolder and more expansive. The songs manage to be both immediately catchy and deceptively deep, with Penny's literary lyrics adding an extra dimension to the pure pop hooks. Satisfying yet far from predictable, this is a record to be savored, revealing itself slowly, gaining power and poignancy with each listen.
For ‘I Feel Alive’, the band members convened in a basement studio in Montreal, recording for the first time with keyboardist Marta Cikojevic who joined the band as a live member in 2017. “From the first time we practiced with her it was clear that we were in sync musically, and we found ourselves improvising together at the first rehearsal” says Penny. “Having Marta manning the keys allowed me to reach for my flute, and gave me the chance to integrate my flute playing with the writing process, using it as an expressive instrument rather than more production element which it has been in the past.”
She continues: “We'd spent a lot of time apart, not working on new stuff or touring, just living life, all in different cities," says Penny. When we went to make I Feel Alive we all had a good sense of what we were trying to do and a renewed energy towards playing together. The goal was to get in a room together and play, not holding anything back."
"It was a quick process," says guitarist and fellow song-writer David Carriere. "We would work all day writing a song and then demo them the same evening, relying on our natural chemistry as a band to let the songs come into their own." The band’s line-up is completed by Riley Fleck on drums.
Title track "I Feel Alive" is a bracing pop gem with darker undertones. An ode to new love,
Penny sings "I feel alive looking in your eyes" with the exuberance that comes with the early stages of romance, the discovery of a deep love. But love is complicated, and within the joy and happiness is the pain of leaving someone else behind. "When I saw you wanted to spend the night with someone else at home," she sings, "I knew it wasn't right." This honest admission that happiness can come at the expense of others adds another dimension to the song's ecstatic energy. True love defies us to overcome others expectations, and that's a good thing. People may be watching, but why should you care.
Opposing and it, "Colder and Closer" is a sonic departure, with programmed synths and metallic drumming, the song shimmers. A tribute to seeking meaning in an increasingly confusing world Penny sings "Searching constellations/seeing if the stars align." But she doesn't take comfort in the stars, rejecting fate as something arbitrary, though not quite meaningless. "Signs are myths like nations/shapes drawn over crooked lines." The song is swift and lean, a pop confection, but it's also ripe with meditations on the social isolation that plagues casual intimacy. It's a prime example of the way TOPS layer meaning within pop songwriting.
Beneath the soaring melodies and crisp production, ‘I Feel Alive’ balances the giddiness of a new relationship with the agony of leaving old things behind. It's an introspective record that you can dance to, music that hits in an immediate rush but sticks around, lingering like the memory of a perfect doomed love affair-both the joy and the pain, until it becomes a part of your life forever.
‘I Feel Alive’ will be released on April 3rd via Musique TOPS. Pre-order at TOPS.lnk.to/IFeelAlive
Jozef van Wissem is an avant-garde composer and lutenist playing his all black, one-of-a-kind custom-made baroque lute all around the world. The titles and the nature of his works often have a Christian-mystical appeal and the music he creates is simply time-less. In 2013 van Wissem won the Cannes Soundtrack Award at the Cannes Film Fes-tival for Jim Jarmusch’s “Only Lovers Left Alive “. In December 2017 Jozef van Wis-sem was invited to perform the madrigal depicted in Caravaggio’s painting The Lute Player (1596) at the Hermitage museum of Saint Petersburg.An autodidactic author, a Renaissance talent in the cruelty of the 21st century, who switched the intense lifestyle of a new wave artist and bar owner from Groningen to a modern-age thinker who studied lute in New York, and later became one of the most influential contemporary songwriters, known for his solo and cinematic works.Van Wissem has earned much critical acclaim for his work, the ‘ liberation of the lute’ as he calls it. According to the New York times“ Van Wissem is ‘both an avant-garde composer and a baroque lutenist, and thus no stranger to dichotomy”. According to the Quietus “ Van Wissem is possibly the best know lute player in the western world. To get into van Jozef Van Wissem’s world is to surrender to the inevitability – and timelessness – of a strange music created at its own pace, in a manner wholly of its cre-ator’s making. He sets the listener into a private world, looking out through a glass darkly, such is the intense quality of the music. Brevity, simplicity, directness is the key. (Quietus)His completely unique musical world can be easily verified by his collaborations, espe-cially that these relationships are also strengthening his own musical character. He worked together with Zola Jesus, Tilda Swinton, Jarboe as well as with his long-time collaborative partner, also his friend, Jim Jarmusch. The timeless value of his work can be described by one of his previous interviews: “…the lute goes against all technology and against all computers and against all the shit you don’t need.” While, at the same time, no matter if we’re talking about his cinematic works, remarkable collaborations or his own full-lengths, the honest, pure, yet frightfully peccable sound of Jozef van Wissem can always remind us to our true selves, and also our deepest fears.“Jozef van Wissem starts his set in the magnificent baroque interior of the medieval Budolfi church. His pizzicato looks so effortless that the ancient lute with three pegboxes at first seems to be a prop. Occasionally giving a piercing look towards the audience, the musician skillfully steers the course between the past and now. One of the time-travel themes is You Know That I Love You, a 16th-century madrigal by the Renaissance composer Jacques Arcadelt. Three years ago van Wissem was commissioned to perform this piece at St Petersburg’s Hermitage museum which displays Caravaggio’s The Lute Player which also depicts a young man reading the notes of the same madrigal…The further this lute player travels, the more intense these shamanic charms are. Having performed a few minimalist instrumentals, van Wissem starts singing. The effect of these enchanting loops is en-hanced by the mantra-sounding lines “Do you feel like you want to? Do you ever feel like you want to?”. Later, for the encore, he plays another piece in-cluding all-the-more hypnotising lyrics “Love destroys all Evil and frees us” multiplied and intensified.” – Louderthanwar at Northern Winter Beat Festival 2020, Aalborg (DK)Zapraszamy, #FRHeroes #JozefVanWissem #KlubRE