Todd Fancey lives in Vancouver, British Columbia and was
raised as a student of 70s AM Radio Gold. Currently best known as
the guitarist for The New Pornographers, Todd has also crafted two
albums full of energetic, supercharged indie pop (and studio wizardry)
under his own band name, Fancey.
Fancey's music is most often and most simply described as "soft
rock that rocks," but of course there's more to it than that:
"a varied, always melodic, and an often breathtaking tour
through '70s pop and more recent indie pop" - AllMusic.com
"That pop music can be feel-good without being saccharine
seems to be a point in need of reminder. Leaving a Post-It on the
fridge is Todd Fancey, with his breezy, blue-sky debut. "Carry
Me" layers sun-drenched Beach Boys' harmonies, bouncy Wurlitzer
and the requisite escapist lyrics about leaving town or going into
outer space." - Rolling Stone on Fancey’s 2004 debut
“…the coolest New Pornographers side project yet”
“It’s almost my mission to make super pop,” Todd
said from a New Pornographers tour bus pulling into Calgary, Alberta.
“It’s not really super-contrived in terms of style,”
he says. “I just like the music to come out of the speakers
with a brightness.”
So how does the new album Schmancey compare to Fancey’s 2004
self-titled debut? Things are a bit darker, with a greater range
of styles and moods in evidence. Lead-off track "Lost In Twilight,"
currently available as a free download at WhatAreRecords.com, recalls
the up-tempo summer pop of the first album, but from there its quickly
off into the dreamy, almost woozy "Gulf Breeze" and the
country-tinged lament "Fader."
Particularly enthralling is the contributions of Todd's ex-girlfriend,
Sara Lapsley, a key member of the band's continuing partnership,
whose vocals shine on the gorgeous fade-out of "Let The Breeze
One listen to "Schmancey" and you'll realize this is the
work of a studio junkie. Todd freely admits to spending a lot of
time fantasizing about what it would have been like to be in Pink
Floyd and get to spend a year in the world’s best studios
recording a single album. So he’s come to think of recording
and touring with The New Pornographers as a really great day job.
“It’s where my bread and butter is, but it’s also
really fun,” he said. “I love The New Pornographers,
love playing this music and wouldn’t do it if I didn’t,
but I have a real passion for studio recording and those old albums
that have nothing to do with live music.
His name is generally buried in Pornographers’ bios, while
the sprawling band’s marquee members - Neko Case, Carl Newman
(who records solo as A.C. Newman) and Dan Bejar (of Destroyer and
Swan Lake) - grab all the attention. And with Case, Newman and Bejar
all forging successful solo careers, there’s not much cash
left in Pornographers’ fans wallets for yet another side project,
even one that offers the sonic equivalent of ecstasy.
But Fancey knows this.
“It’s a challenge so difficult to overcome,” he
said, “that I can’t really sit around going, ‘Oh
man, I wish I could get more light shed on my project.’ I’m
just lucky to be able to do it all. It’s kind of cheesy, but
I look forward to the artistic side of it.”
“As a kid I never went to many shows,” he said. “I
just sat in my room and listened to music. So my goal in the studio
is to mirror a different time. I don’t have a million dollars,
but if I did I would spend it on making records like that ’70s
stuff when things were at the peak of production quality.”
The studio junkie and audio perfectionist recently took his band
out for a successful weeklong tour opening for The New Pornographers.
"We had a great time and I think we got the sound I was hearing
in my head right. The songs definitely took on a new life on stage,
and we all learned a lot. I'm gonna head out again as soon as The
Pornographers take a break from the "Challengers" tour."