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Todd Fancey is the guitarist for the band The New Pornographers. He has released two albums on the WHAT ARE RECORDS label under the name Fancey, an eponymous debut in 2004 and a followup entitled Shmancey in October 2007. He is from Vancouver CA and describes his music as "soft rock that rocks".Read More...
Soft rock, dirty words? No, not anymore. With the popularity of Phoenix, Postal Service, and Kings Of Convenience, indie rock's angry core has become kinder and gentler, at least on first listen. Enter Todd Fancey, a Vancouver student of 70's AM radio, whose "other" band, the New Pornographers, have been tearing it up in the US, Canada, and Europe over the course of two amazingly popular records for Matador and Mint.
Playing guitars and keyboards in the New Pornographers is a challenge and thrill for Fancey, but he yearned to do something more. Something big. And it's something wonderful, his self-titled debut solo record is chock full of driving Wurlitzer pianos, crunchy guitars, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road style string arrangments, and pretty backing vocals. Though his influences are on his sleeve and are detectable in the lead off tracks like Carry Me and Dial Jupiter, It's more than a New Pornographers side project. It's a simply stunning beginning to a long road of making perfect pop albums.
So how does the followup "Shmancey" compare to this? On first listen, things seem a bit darker, with a greater range of styles and moods in evidence. Lead-off track "Lost In Twilight", recalls the uptempo summer pop of the first album, but from there we're quickly off into the dreamy, almost woozy "Gulf Breeze" and the country-tinged lament "Fader." Todd's ex-girlfriend, Sara Lapsley, is a key member of the band's continuing partnership, and she shines on the gorgeous fade-out of "Let The Breeze In."
Fancey sounds like nothing else. It's sunny, bouncy, but with a certain sadness to the lyrics. It's classic rock for the indie rock set. It's classy soft rock that invokes the names Beach Boys, Todd Rundgren, Emitt Rhodes, and The Association. But it's never effete, and it's never twee. It's a grown up sound that reels you in with its infectious melodies and delicious arrangments.