The New Pornographers guitarist talks about his new album, writing for television, disco angels, and more.
BY TIM HINELY
If you know his name at all it is probably as being the low-key guitarist for Canadian popster’s New Pornographers but Todd Fancey has an alter ego (sort of). He’s released a handful of records under his last name. Yup, Fancey. While the New Pornos add some more glitter n’ drive to their pop confections Fancey heads back to that blighted decade known as the 70’s where he gleans inspiration from those AM radio pop records that his parents might’ve played (start with David Gates’ Bread and head westward). On his latest record, Love Mirage (out this week, Jan. 27, on his own Stoner Disco label) he goes a few steps further…..further into the world of soft pop and even disco. Cuts like “Baby Sunshine,” “Disco Angel’ and the title track and too shiny for words. We caught up with Todd and asked him about his long absence, the new record and who he’s currently digging on right now.
BLURT: 10 years is a long time since your last full-length , Schmancey. What have you been doing?
FANCEY: Aside from touring and recording with the New Pornographers I did a few songs for television – most notably “That One Night” with Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupinsky for the “Dinner Party” episode of The Office. I also watched a few prospective solo albums collapse under the weight of their own mediocrity as I learned how to do a lot of the editing and recording myself. I started Love Mirage in 2015.
,How did the songs on Love Mirage come together? Was it 10 years of working on them?
Some of the songs on Love Mirage are remnants of the aforementioned failed projects that I tried to get off the ground artistically. Luckily a romantic break-up or two came along in the interim to give me a more focused lyrical direction!
Did you do anything different in the studio this time from previous records?
Yes I did a lot different things in the studio this time, using an actual producer- Allan Rodger. He wanted us to try and attain what he calls “supermarket grade” which means keeping the sound friendly and warm at all times….that was the goal! I got similar advice from my friend Gary Mallaber who drummed on Steve Miller’s hits. Gary plays percussion on the album.
Tell us about “Disco Angel.” Where’d the inspiration from that one come from?
Disco Angel was inspired by the way people used to “waltz” in the disco-era to a song like Kiss’ “Beth” or “Sharing the Night Together” by Dr. Hook. Basically two people slowly turning around to the music under the mirror ball…just an excuse for polyester to bond.
Will you be touring for the record at all (specifically the states)?
I have no plans to tour the record at the moment. I wanted it to be a truly studio album like the am radio stuff of the ’70s…faceless music with no worries about how it would be done live. Not ruling it out though.
Is the New Pornographers still keeping you busy?
Yes the New Pornographers is keeping me busy, we’re going to release our new album in the spring and there will be lots of international touring.
Who are some of your favorite current artists?
I can name at least three modern recording acts that prove stellar music is still being made: Tame Impala, Neon Indian, and MGMT.