Band of the Day

2011.10.07

Junior Boys

Beautifully frosty Canadian electro-pop for the after party
Cause in the morning, there's a million names to choose from. You don't care just take one, leave a place to rest on. Because you're too young.
lyrics from In the Morning

Junior Boys are a Canadian indie/electronic pop duo that formed in 1999 in Hamilton, Ontario by Jeremy Greenspan. After several years of failed pursuits, Junior Boys eventually got picked up by KIN records in 2002. Record deal in hand, Greenspan recruited his engineer, Matt Didemus, and the two began writing their first releases the Birthday/Last Exit EP, released in October 2003, and the High Come Down EP released in February 2004. In September 2004, Junior Boys released their critically acclaimed LP Last Exit on KIN records in the UK. Domino reissued Last Exit in the US featuring both a new track as well as a Fennesz mix of the title track. After a series of tours, single releases and compilation tracks between albums, Junior Boys released So This Is Goodbye in 2006, Begone Dull Care in 2009 and It's All True in 2011 on Domino Records.

Of all the 21st century groups straddling the line between traditional songcraft and electronic dance music, few - if any- are as consistently compelling as Junior Boys. A Postal Service for denizens of moonlit urban lofts, Junior Boys’ signature sound is minimalist and downright icy, with Greenspan’s soulful, breathy falsetto dueling shimmering synths and 80s electro-funk growls. Formed in Hamilton, Canada in 1999 by Jeremy Greenspan and Matt Didemus, the duo now has four full-lengths to their name, every one of which is utterly worth your time. Junior Boys established their eclectic sound with their critically acclaimed 2004 debut Last Exit. “Birthday” sets the late-night lounge mood with its boogying Italo-disco bass line and crystal-bell synths as Greenspan sings, “Is it true that it’s me? You can say all the things you want to?” Junior Boys’ sound gets polished further on their 2006 full length So This is Goodbye. “In The Morning,” an up-tempo track anchored by an R&B beat and bits of Greenspan’s in-drawn breath used as percussion is the clear highlight, and quite possibly the best electro-indie cut of the 2000s in this writer’s opinion. Greenspan sings “Girl, the night’s not over, we’re not getting older” over a wintry bed of synth and a subtly muted electric guitar. The melodies are gorgeous, and things just get better at the 2:55 mark when a deceptively simple synth explodes onto the track, vibrating and wavering itself deep into your conscience. While their 2009 LP Be Gone Dullcare was a slight misstep, bright spots like the coolly funky “Bits and Pieces” and the slick, hook-filled “Parallel Lines” are excellent. Junior Boys’ 4th full-length It’s All True, released in June 2011, is an epic return to form. Greenspan’s vocals are brought to the front, soulful and more confident than ever before. The icy-landscape has thawed a little, the band allows bright pianos to poke through the dance-floor ready “Banana Ripple” as Greenspan sings “If you don’t really want it, if you don’t really care” like an 80s pop star. When they transition to a bubbling house bass-line and thumping beat it makes perfect sense, the only question is, will people begin to stare and point if I just I start dancing?