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TOPS, 'Perfected Steps'

On "Perfected Steps," Montreal's TOPS present a breezy send-off to ideas and customs past their prime, done up with a deceptively light, subtly contemptuous vibe. Vocalist Jane Penny depicts an unnamed showboater clinging to youth, a "burning up beacon" and "dying star" of bygone values set to implode; as the anonymous character shines their fading light to nobody, the reality of obsolescence closes in. Yet they keep at it, totally unaware. Penny's airy vocals and the band's soft-rock jangle gently present a case for moving forward, beckoning us to get with the times no matter what side of the generation line you fall on.

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Evan Miller is a percussionist, lover of sound, and is probably buying too many cassette tapes online right now. Evan got his start in radio in 2012 at WWSU at Wright State University, where he was studying percussion performance. He followed through with both endeavors and eventually landed a lucrative dual career playing experimental music at home and abroad, and broadcasting those sounds to unsuspecting listeners Sunday nights on The Outside. Maintaining a connection to normal music, Evan also plays drums in bands around the area, and hosts WYSO's Midday Music show. When not doing something music-related, Evan is most likely listening to podcasts or watching food videos at home with his cat.