Montreal’s TOPS is the rare indie rock band that relies more on limber fretwork and dedicated time-keeping than on the sort sleight of hand that can help cover up a lack thereof. Last year, Arbutus labelmate Grimes gave props to their gymnastic arrangements and clear-as-a-bell production sound when she took over Gorilla vs. Bear for a day; she told us that percussionist Riley Fleck drums to a metronome every day for hours at a time. Even if that’s an exaggeration, these guys simply don’t sound like anybody else that I can think of (other than Fleetwood Mac, maybe). “Easy Friends,” side B of the “Diamond Look” seven inch they have coming out next week on Atelier Ciseaux, casts Jane Penny’s crystalline soprano over a guitar line that’s just as melodically intricate as the bass line that’s supposed to support it; occasionally, they stop their wandering to double up, and when they double up, it’s always in perfect lockstep. Arbutus is reissuing their self-released album Tender Opposites on October 1st, but you can stream it on Bandcamp.
Download: TOPS, “Easy Friends”