Neurotic musical nerd Daniel Bejar is a Canadian multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, and general 21st century musical genius-eccentric. He is the founding father of two of the greatest and most influential contemporary pop music groups: The New Pornographers, Vancouver's equivalent to Toronto's Broken Social Scene, and Destroyer, which is simply the greatest chamber pop in any nation anywhere since Belle and Sebastian. He is also less famously a member of Canadian supergroup Swan Lake, and is one half of Hello Blue Roses, a collaboration with his girlfriend and fellow Vancouver native Sydney Vermont. He has also collaborated with Heartbreak Scene, Vancouver Nights, and Vermont's band Bonaparte.
Bejar was born October 4, 1972. He is originally from Vancouver, where he still resides. He began his musical career with Destroyer, his brainchild and the one of his four musical projects in which he has uncontested leadership and control. Destroyer's debut album We'll Build Them a Golden Bridge was released in 1996. Destroyer released their second and third albums in the following two consecutive years. In 1998 Bejar began his collaboration/membership with The New Pornographers, and started writing for their debut Mass Romantic, which would not be released until November, 2000. Since Mass Romantic, Bejar has participated in the release of ten Destroyer albums, four New Pornographer albums, two Swan Lake albums, and Hello Blue Roses' lone album.
Bejar often writes cryptic, misdirectional lyrics, playing on a sense of the unexpected. His singing voice is an aesthetic, to those who enjoy it, and pathetically nasally to those who do not. Admittedly, it has a break-in period, as does his music. This is also confusing and misdirectional, but not to an extent that it should be called progressive. For the most part it is patterned, motivic, ornate but ultimately straightforward and very listenable. Think of a less lyrically dependent Sufjan Stevens or Joanna Newsom. The music of all Bejar's projects is intricate, layered, and intentional in a way that clearly shows him as a nerd and a perfectionist in studio, though this does not always translate to a comfortable live setting. The music is extremely technical, and there is little room for expansion or improvisation. But the glossy and polished studio product is usually quite impressive. In this way I tend to think of Bejar as a modern day Donald Fagen.
He is sometimes confused with a photographer/sculpturist from Brooklyn also named Daniel Bejar. Rest assured these are not remotely the same person.
Read some stuff:
Destroyer (Merge Records bio)