Junior Boys fight for the nerds

By Rachel Betts-Wilmott

Nearly 50 per cent of the world’s population are nerds, but only 20 per cent are willing to admit it. Most nerds will hustle their pasty asses to a DDR dance mat or comic book store to avoid the descriptive. However, the Junior Boys accept and even embrace the title.

“Yeah, I guess we are nerds,” laughs Jeremy Greenspan, half of the Hamilton electro-pop duo.

Though he cites a long list of musical influences such as Timbaland and producer Todd Edwards, Greenspan confesses a tendency to draw inspiration from another, nerdier facet of our culture.

“I like music that has a cinematic quality,” he says. “Movie soundtracks are a big influence, especially science fiction. Electronic music is a very futuristic thing as a genre.”

You can hear it for yourself in the music Greenspan and co-Junior Boy Matt Didemus have put together. Last Exit, their first full length, is rich with great electronic pop and lacks the je ne sais quoi most electronic music possesses, making one want to beat glittered ravers over the head with their glow sticks. The music is more reminiscent of a heartbeat than the beep of a heart monitor–more personable than sterile.

“I generally don’t like music with a strict narrative,” muses Greenspan. “But I don’t want the words to mean nothing.”

On Last Exit, the Boys put forth a valiant effort towards their goal, neither taking themselves too seriously nor filling their songs with overly irreverent lyrics, the equivalent to aural cotton candy. Instead, their sound is organic despite its sci-fi origins and synthetic method–and more importantly, it’s heartfelt.

“What some people might like about it is it’s musical,” explains Greenspan. “The melody isn’t too abstract. We make it accessible to almost anybody, though using more avant-garde techniques.”

Last Exit is very listenable indeed, perhaps the kiss of death adjective for indie sounding music. They combine vaguely familiar sounds with quiet, unassuming lyrics and the outcome is rather infectious. They’ve already won the affection of the much-respected musical bodies Manitoba and KIN, and now on their first real tour across Canada they’re ready to turn heads.

“Touring has changed my attitude about how to make music,” says Greenspan. “I didn’t used to have much time for live music before, but it’s proved useful to work ideas out.”

By the time they make it into Calgary the Junior Boys will have been on the road nearly three months, playing to crowds throughout Sweden and Norway before taking their show to the States. In the process, they’ll be letting anyone who cares to listen know they’re nerds, but not the kind of nerds who are content being the best unknown electro-pop band of our age–just the best.

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