Release Date: Feb 19, 2008
Record label: Tomlab
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Say what you will about the Great White North's notoriously finicky weather, but Vancouver sounds like the sunniest place in the world when filtered through the immaculate comfort-pop prism of former P:ano denizens Julia Chirka, Justin Kellam, and Nick Krgovich, better known as No Kids. Like their previous incarnation, No Kids are exceedingly uncool and irrefutably talented scholars of pop history, preferring the brainy accuracy of artists such as Steely Dan, Burt Bacharach, Sufjan Stevens, and the Style Council over more traditional indie rock heroes like the Velvet Underground and the MC5 (think Yo La Tengo and Field Music-lite). The trio's one undeniable thread to the gentrified indie pop community is the omnipresent shadow of Brian Wilson, though instead of Pet Sounds, No Kids seem far more intrigued by later albums like Sunflower, Holland, and Carl & the Passions, a notion supported by the schizophrenic one-two punch of melancholic opener "Great Escape" and the bouncy Stereolab-esque "For Halloween.
Indie pop and contemporary R&B have often flirted but never progressed much beyond heavy petting. The former waxes fey and too sunk into Morrissey's hopeless romanticism to saddle up the latter's gritty lust. No Kids certainly don't consummate the affair, but they get further than most, like the Boy Least Likely To seduced in the basement stacks. Call it Twee&B: Songs like "The Beaches All Closed" and "Bluster in the Air" manage to meld slow-jam pulses with indie sentimentality, surprisingly maintaining the integrity of both.