Pop Culture

TOPS’ Jane Penny Announces Debut Solo EP, Unveils New Song ‘Messages’

Jane Penny – vocalist, keyboardist, and co-founder of the Montreal indie pop band TOPS – has announced her solo debut. The Surfacing EP drops on April 5 via Luminelle Recordings, and its first single, ‘Messages’, is out today. Check out its Otium-directed video below.

“It’s a pop song about getting notifications from everyone except the one person you want to hear from, which was happening to me at the time,” Penny explained in a statement. “The opening sample — ‘there is a message for you’ is a strange message that the credit card machines in Montreal cabs make.”

The accompanying video was inspired by Maya Deren’s 1943 film Meshes of the Afternoon. “The concept came from a meditation on the journey which led me to have a solo project, a journey which involved searching for myself, striving for some true essence, and realizing that this will naturally happen and isn’t something I need to force,” she added.

Discussing the project as a whole, Penny said: “There are things I wanted to explore sonically and creatively, which would be impossible in the context of TOPS. I wanted to challenge myself to create a whole world of my own, to write all of the parts, program the drums, choose every sample, write the bass line. When I took control over the entire world of music that I was creating I felt that it also opened up a lot of emotional space, sensuality and intuition that comes through solitude. It took a while to reach a point where I feel it’s ready to share, but now the gates are open and I’ll definitely be continuing on this path.”

In 2022, Marta Cikojevic of TOPS released her self-titled debut album as Marci.

Surfacing EP Cover Artwork:

Surfacing EP Tracklist:

1. Darkness Can Wait for a Night
2. Messages
3. Wear You Out
4. Stream
5. Artificial Genuine
6. Beautiful Ordinary
7. Accelerate Slowly

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