I should be going to Halifax in a matter of weeks, but, ever behind in my work, I’ve set an embargo on all academic travel (at least until 2010, I must be reasonable). I’ve always wanted to visit Halifax for its apparent splendor, and since it’s home to many of my earliest indie pop music loves (hell, I chose my MA program in Athens, GA in part for its music scene). My Halifax favorites include The Flashing Lights, The Super Friendz, and, of course, the Beatles of Canada–Sloan! A nice overview of the “Halifax Pop Explosion” can be found here. In light of my absence from Halifax, even though there’s a panel basically devoted to my dissertation topic on popular music policy, it’s really quite nice to lose myself in a new album straight out of Halifax, Dog Day’s Concentration.
In a year proving to be my favorite for Canadian music in ages, Dog Day’s new album is an amalgamation of many of my favorite pop music attributes: jangly guitars, well-done (not over-done) synth work, boy-girl vocals, hooks galore, and enough atmospheric elements to remind one of the The Smiths or The Stone Roses. There’s a bit of Dunedin in this Halifax too. Along with the sophomore effort by Finnish band Cats on Fire (see video for “Tears In Your Cup“), my retro-ish tastes for still fresh pop are well alive in 2009, amid the monotonous, Pitchforkian Monolith announcements I must continue to endure.
“Happiness” is the first single, and somewhat unique in that its vocals are led by Seth Smith (husband to female vocalist, Nancy Urich, who usually takes the lead).