Dan Bejar's Destroyer, based in Vancouver (Canada),
originally a folk-rock project when it released
We'll Build Them a Golden Bridge (1996), went on to package quirky
parades of impeccable pop songs filled with the pathos of glam-rock and
roamed by nonsensical lyrics:
City of Daughters (1998),
Thief (Catsup Plate, 2000),
Streethawk (Misra, 2001),
the existential nightmare This Night (Merge, 2002).
These albums took the best that post-psychedelic folksingers such as
Robyn Hitchcock had to offer and wed it to post-industrial arrangements
that made totally disorienting.
Bejar's artistic progression reached an almost delirious, baroque zenith
on the lush, electronic Your Blues (2004), with Notorious Lightning, The Music Lovers, New Ways Of Living and It's Gonna Take an Airplane, and
finally emerged into the maintream with
Destroyer's Rubies (2006), his most obsessive pop statement, performed
by a real band and highlighted by the nine-minute Destroyer's Rubies,
Painter In Your Pocket and 3000 Flowers.
Swan Lake is a super-trio formed by Bejar with
Spencer Krug of Wolf Parade and
Carey Mercer of Frog Eyes that debuted with
Beast Moans (2006).
Trouble In Dreams (Merge, 2008) contains
the eight-minute Shooting Rockets,
mildly anthemic Dark Leaves from a Thread
and the single Foam Hands.
Hello Blue Roses is a duo with Sydney Vermont that debuted with the tenuous
The Portrait Is Finished and I Have Failed to Capture Your Beauty
Kaputt (Merge, 2010) is a
tribute to ambient music and synth-pop of the 1980s, replete with vintage
instrumentation, such as
Savage Night At The Opera (reminiscent of OMD's Enola Gay).
The eight-minute Suicide Demo for Kara Walker is
the intellectual heavy weight here.
Poison Season (2015) is a mediocre collection of whispered pop ballads.
One can save the sax-driven Lou Reed-ian Times Square and the
pounding David Bowie-esque Dream Lover.
The rest is languid and somnolent to the point of irrelevance.
Bangkok boasts a swinging jazz coda.
converted to synth-pop with bouncy ditties like Sky's Grey and
Tinseltown Dripping In Blood, but the catchiest number is
Cover From the Sun, which harkens back to
naive power-pop of the 1960s.
In The Morning is another virtual tribute to David Bowie.
Have we Met (2020) has less synth-pop
(Crimson Tide), more
ambient pop (The Television Music Supervisor) and a
funky Cue Synthesizer.
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