Destroyer’s Dan Bejar is indie rock’s most prolific chameleon, effortlessly mutating between folk-rock rambler, soft-rock seducer, chamber-pop crooner, and avant-garde agitator—and that’s barely scratching the surface. Born in 1972 and bred on classic Broadway musicals, ‘80s synth-pop, and ‘90s shoegaze, the Vancouver-based singer/songwriter formed Destroyer in 1995 and released his first set of ramshackle lo-fi folk a year later with debut album, We’ll Build Them a Golden Bridge. Though mostly raucous and unnervingly off-key, the set, cut on a four-track cassette recorder, established Bejar’s witty, wordy, abstract poeticism—the one common thread coursing through his varied work. The rest of the ‘90s saw him refining that homespun indulgence and co-founding another indie rock band, The New Pornographers (with Neko Case and A.C. Newman), in 1997. On 2000’s Thief, he brought in a full band who helped him gradually transform his wily, Bowie-esque glam proclivities into the theatrical rock surrealism of 2006’s Destroyer’s Rubies and 2008’s Trouble In Dreams. (In between, Bejar released albums with The New Pornographers and Swan Lake, featuring Frog Eyes’ Carey Mercer and Wolf Parade’s Spencer Krug.) In the next decade, he’d sharpen his focus more with Destroyer, starting with the 2011 breakthrough album Kaputt, a balmy voyage through sax-infused soft rock, acid jazz, and new wave, and into 2015’s Poison Season, a triumphant rock affair that presents Bejar as a timeless crooner with an endlessly racing mind. Those wandering ruminations continue to dictate his ever-intoxicating prose and approach, with 2017’s dark synth-pop fever dream ken and 2020’s Have We Met, an even darker dive into ‘80s nostalgia and modern existential dread. If there’s any thought, feeling, or sound left unturned, we can trust that Bejar will find it, dissect it, and turn it into another heady indie opus.
ORIGINVancouver, British Columbia, Cana