After daydream philosopher Sean Nicholas Savage left Montreal’s Silly Kissers, three of the cult group’s members split off and built a new vessel for dreamy, cloudbusting indie-pop. It’s hard not to love the resultant four-piece, TOPS, who sound like besotted teenagers huddled up by the hearth dreaming of some strange pop stardom. Second album Picture You Staring charms relentlessly with its DIY vapour-sketches: slight yet substantial, “2 Shy” fills your heart with mid-rent drum machines and yearning riffs that remember XTC’s “Making Plans for Nigel”, while opener “Way to be Loved” taps into that perfectly Arbutus magic of sounding chipper, melancholy, virtuous and slipshod at once. “You didn’t have to go away,” sings Jane Penny on mournful closer “Destination,” before vanishing sadly into the ether. By the time she leaves you'll be heartbroken too.
Picture You Staring is now available to buy in the UK here. Stream via Spotify below.