It starts as the beeps and boops remniscent of video games, segueing into smooth, electro-pop beats. It builds into the kind of head-bobbing, ass-shaking music that has indie kids tearing up dancefloors everywhere in their checkered skate shoes. This, of course, is the Junior Boys’ second critically acclaimed offering, So this is Goodbye. Now they’ve taken it on the road, and they’re bringing the intoxicating sound to Calgary.
“It’s really difficult for us to know why people like it so much,” says the man behind the synth, Matt Didemus. “We’re really appreciative, and really happy that people like it. Sometimes I think it’s just a domino effect; once you start getting a few good reviews the other ones just sort of follow.”
Some say that the accessibility of the album to people who might not like electronic music is partially responsible for the success. Didemus offers an explanation to this phenomenon–the format they follow is the same as very traditional pop: verse, chorus, verse, chorus. It makes for an easier-listening sound and much greater accessability than a good deal of the german sci-fi sample-infused electronica available.
“Maybe because we’re trying to do things in a sort of pop context,” says Didemus. “If you don’t really like electronic music–and some of it can be quite obtuse–it’d be difficult if you’re used to a pop or rock framework.”
Unlike many popular acts these days, the Boys don’t take themselves too seriously. With inevitable images being conjured up of high school athletics, it’s not surprising the name Junior Boys came from flipping through a yearbook.
“We wanted something vaguely boy-band sounding–not being serious,” says Didemus. “We wanted to have something that was really light hearted, instead of having something really long-winded like a serious name.”
Drawing influence from unlikely places, So this is Goodbye also features a cover of Frank Sinatra’s “When no one cares.” As much as they do from music, the Junior Boys also borrow a lot from their surroundings. That’s why they plan to record their next album in Shanghai.
“I think where you are, where you’re living definitely has an impact on how your music sounds,” says Didemus. “Most of the music we listen to is definitely not Canadian music. I guess it would be mainly European stuff.”
In the world of electronic music, it’s difficult to picture how a live performance would be handled. Contrary to expecations, the live show won’t simply be a couple guys huddled around a computer. Didemus says the Junior Boys’ upcoming show differs from the last one, in part because they never intended to play their debut live.
“I guess it was sort of an afterthought–the whole live thing,” says Didemus. “But for the new one we have a lot more sort-of live sequences than the first one–our earlier live shows–we have a lot of synthesizers and so forth up on stage and Jeremy singing, playing guitar and bass.”