The New Pornographers
A seven-piece pop supergroup from Vancouver, The New Pornographers are veterans of indie rock and power pop. Featuring Dan Bejar of Destroyer, Kathryn Calder of Immaculate Machine, Neko Case of solo fame, John Collins of Destroyer and The Evaporators, Todd Fancey of solo fame, A. C. Newman of solo fame, and Blaine Thurier (a film producer), the band is filled with accomplished songwriters. It’s no wonder The New Pornographers still have such catchy music, after 15 years and 6 albums, without sacrificing the artistic integrity they so effortlessly crafted. With influences ranging from folk to punk, their catalog is replete with surprises. Obscure, playful lyricism and layered pop melodies tend to make the band sound much smaller than it is, which is to say that each musician is used purposefully without overwhelming the arrangement. Put simply, the band never feels crowded. A playlist is absolutely necessary to begin to understand this group, because a single song cannot capture the expansive reach of their perfectly tempered sound.
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart
A five-piece indie pop band from New York City, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart is a skilled group with a strong focus on solid songwriting and memorable hooks. Their sound hovers from indie pop to shoegaze to dream pop. Similar to The New Pornographers, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart are adept and incorporating electronic elements into their music while maintaining an organic, at times almost acoustic, sound. Whether intentionally or otherwise, they sound a bit like The New Pornographers playing Smiths covers.