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Fancey

Fancey

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Album Review

Indie rock fans who are devout readers of fine print will recognize Todd Fancey as one of the less-hyped members of the really super supergroup the New Pornographers. He plays guitar for them, and also played in Limblifter with Kurt Dahle, who's also in the New Pornographers, and all over Fancey's album, too. Speaking of that, Fancey is Todd Fancey's debut record, and fans of his day job will welcome it as they would a family member. More soft rock than the New Pornographers, more fixated on the '70s too, the album is nearly as hook-filled and sounds like it was built in the same factory — a much sunnier factory — less prone to songs about alcoholism and more likely to burst out into silly songs about rock & roll ("Rock N' Roll Rhythm"), or outer space ("Dial Jupiter"). Fancey also makes more use of Neko Case, putting Sara Wheeler's angel-sweet vocals on every song. His songwriting doesn't quite measure up to Carl Newman's or Daniel Behar's, but he is certainly no slouch. Fancey builds many of the songs around his electric piano, which gives the record a unique sound. "Carry Me" is a perfect way to kick off the record; it's a breezy power pop tune with an infectious chorus topped by Fancey's soaring vocals. The rest of the record is varied, always melodic, and an often breathtaking tour through '70s pop and more recent indie pop. Along the way there are stops at disco ("Sunbright"), soft rock balladry (the blissful "Strayed Out" on which Fancey and Wheeler harmonize like the dream pairing of Gerry Beckley and Karen Carpenter), mellow country-rock ("In Town"), and indie pop reminiscent of classic Sarah band the Orchids (the wistful "Autumn Music"). Fancey is a very strong debut; its appearance makes the New Pornographers even more impressive, like the 1929 Yankees of indie rock, only with 100 percent less evil empire, and far better songs.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Best known as a guitarist for Vancouver's indie rock supergroup the New Pornographers (he joined in 2002 and played on their 2003 record, Electric Version), Todd Fancey was also a member of Limblifter and played bass on their 2000 release, Bellaclava. Hailing originally from Nova Scotia, Fancey was in many bands before joining Limblifter, including Macabre, Sunshower, Virgin Lust, Jack Tripper, and Taste of Joy. In 2004, he released his solo project under the name Fancey for March Records. Drawing...
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