During the current crisis that has gripped the world, people have taken to different forms of entertainment to preserve their sanity. People look to nostalgia for some sense of comfort and whilst the classics are always needed, sometimes it’s good to look for something new.

This new LP from four-piece Canadian indie-rock outfit TOPS is a pleasant distraction from the outside world at large. The fourth album from the band titled ‘I Feel Alive’ is a 35-minute burst of pleasant synthy pop-rock that will win you over within the first track.

The whole album is dripping in nostalgia, with the majority of the tracks feel like they have been delivered back to the present in the DeLorean itself, with opener ‘Direct Sunlight’ with melodies that seem to shimmer seamlessly along with surprising woodwinds in the middle of the track. This is followed by ‘I Feel Alive’ which has classic pop vibes but with a hidden layer of the euphoric joy of starting a new relationship but leaving old things behind. This is followed by ‘Pirouette’ which feels like it could soundtrack a teen film from the 1980’s (like a lot of the album here).

Other tracks such as ‘Colder and Closer’ continue the pleasant synth-pop trend but with undertones of seeking meaning in an ever confusing world. Surprises amongst the album as well include ‘Take Down’, which is a welcome change of pace and allows Jane Penney’s vocals to shine.

This is a pop album, but not in the traditional sense, it feels very organic and is not overloaded with production like a lot of modern pop music. Overall the album is very pleasant to listen to and has some unexpected lyrical depth. Doesn’t reinvent the wheel but then again not everything has to.

Not sure where they head from here, but it’ll be hard to top this (pardon the pun).

Tops: I Feel Alive – Out Now (Musique Tops Records)