Dan Bejar's indie solo project takes his 8-piece band and latest albums Have We Met (2020) and Labyrinthitis (2022) on tour.

/ 7.30 pm: doors open
/ 8.00 pm - 8.30 pm: Aoife Nessa Frances
/ 8.50 pm - 10.15 pm: Destroyer

For fans of

Swan Lake / The New Pornographers / Wolf Parade / Yo La Tengo / Broken Social Scene / The Walkmen


Destroyer is a Canadian rock band from Vancouver, British Columbia fronted by singer-songwriter Dan Bejar and formed in 1995. Destroyer songs are characterized by abstract, poetic lyrics and idiosyncratic vocals. The band's discography draws on a variety of musical influences, resulting in albums that can sound markedly distinct from one another; in Bejar's words, "That's kind of my goal: to start from scratch every time." 1996–2001 We'll Build Them a Golden Bridge, Destroyer's 1996 debut, is made up of sixteen lo-fi home-recordings. One reviewer suggested that the album combines Bejar's "gift for melodies" with “a concerted effort to make the recording downright inconsumable; the guitars are always out of tune, and the vocals of Fisher-Price quality. 'Static means punk / tuning is junk,' Bejar moans on one track.” [5] (Ideas for Songs, released on cassette in 1997, features songs akin to those on his first album. The cassette stemmed from a request to contribute songs for a compilation album.[6]) As Bejar gained popularity in Vancouver's music scene, he was joined by producer John Collins for 1998's City of Daughters, which was recorded at a proper studio. Pitchfork noted that the songs still sounded "homespun," also noting "[t]he wordiness that would become something of a trademark is in full effect," but that "unlike much of what came later, not every line is worthy of examination."[7] Thief (2000) embodied "Bejar's first stab at matching his grandiose, idiosyncratic vision to a showier sound;" it was the first to feature a backing band on every track.[8] The record's "anthemic yet understated"[9] piano-driven ballads have characteristically enigmatic lyrics, though some reviewers interpreted them as critiques of the music industry.[10][11] Streethawk: A Seduction (2001) realized the sonic refinement started with City of Daughters. Bejar put it this way: "I don't think it gives credence to any kind of conceptualization of the records, but I hope that City of Daughters, Thief, and Streethawk will pop into some kind of a progression that ends with Streethawk.“ [12] A critical success, the album (retrospectively) received a rating of 9.1/10 from Pitchfork.[7] 2002–2007 The 2002 rock album This Night was a dramatic change in style. The looser, less rehearsed style was criticized as "messy [and] haphazard without purpose,"[13] though other critics praised the "beautiful mess of sounds" as "challenging... [and] a powerful, cohesive whole."[11] In a 2006 interview (after the release of Your Blues and Destroyer's Rubies), Bejar said the album "came together pretty quickly - we probably could have used more than four or five days to mix the whole thing, but that's all hindsight. It's still my favorite Destroyer record."[12] Your Blues (2004) saw Destroyer take another unexpected turn, using MIDI instrumentation for almost all the backing music. Bejar coined the term "European blues" to describe its unique, theatrical sound.[14] One reviewer pointed out that "Bejar’s unusual voice sounds more confident, and higher up" in the synth-rich arrangements.[15] In yet another twist, the EP Notorious Lightning & Other Works reworked six tracks from the record with a live band, the very thing the LP had forsaken (the band was Frog Eyes, who toured with Destroyer in support of Your Blues). Bejar returned with a live band for 2006's Destroyer's Rubies, delivering arguably his most confident record up to that point. The backing band took new-found prominence and, according to Bejar, "[t]he production seems... warm and lush and pretty focused on just making the band sound good and having everything sit well together."[12] NOW Magazine observed, "[w]hile the sheer density of Bejar’s writing can be overwhelming, Destroyer’s Rubies is, on a musical level, the most ’accessible’ disc he’s released."[16] 2008–2013 For Trouble in Dreams (2008), "there was a scary lack of ideas coming into the record," Bejar admitted.[17] Destroyer's piano player Ted Bois took it upon himself, as an alternative to keyboard and piano accompaniment, to create all string and synth arrangements for the songs.[17] At the time, Bejar said it was the "hardest record" to make.[17] After the 2009 EP Bay of Pigs came 2011's full-length album, Kaputt (featuring a slightly modified "Bay of Pigs" track). Bejar cited influences such as Miles Davis and Roxy Music for his new jazz-infused, lounge music-inspired, sophisti-pop direction. In multiple interviews, Bejar variously stressed that he "sang in a completely different manner, almost unconscious of even singing, more like speaking into a vacuum, and was really happy with the results."[18][19] The record entailed a number of firsts for Destroyer: first national television performance (on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon); first official music video; first female backing vocals; and the first time Bejar performed without an instrument on tour - his concentration placed solely on his singing. Kaputt was short listed for the 2011 Polaris Music Prize [20] and was Pitchfork's second best album of 2011.[21] Although smaller in scale, Destroyer's fourth EP "Five Spanish Songs" continued to surprise listeners. Sung entirely in Spanish, Bejar covered songs by Sr. Chinarro (es). Bejar's own tongue-in-cheek press release announcing the new songs began: "It was 2013. The English language seemed spent, despicable, not easily singable."[22] 2014–present Bejar released Poison Season on August 28, 2015. Bejar notes that the album's sound grew from "just really getting into what we were sounding like playing live [following Kaputt]."[4] Bejar added that he would not have been able to make such an ambitious album if Kaputt had not been successful.[23] Recorded with a live band and a pronounced string section, the album's "grand cinematic set of songs"[23] feature Bejar singing with a broader range than before: "This is the first record that I've ever done that comes close to my idea of myself as a singer," Bejar said.[24] In 2017, Bejar released ken. Read more on User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.

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