December 17 — “Holly Going Lightly” by Destroyer

Dan Bejar (Destroyer)

If you only listen to one song tonight, make it “Holly Going Lightly” by Destroyer (2002, from the album This Night).

Destroyer is an indie rock band from Vancouver who have released nine albums since 1995. Dan Bejar from The New Pornographers is the front of the band, and most people consider Destroyer to be his “solo” project. There’s actually a pretty sizable band, but the constant rotation of members fuels the argument that Destroyer is less of a proper band and more of a Dan Bejar thing. Naturally, he insists that it’s a fully collaborative effort even if the band membership is constantly changing.

If I’m brutally honest, apart from “Chump Change” and “Testament to Youth in Verse”, I usually don’t care for the Pornos songs on which Bejar sings lead. In that context, and in this order, I prefer the Carl Newman songs, the Neko Case songs and the Kathryn Calder songs before Dan’s, so it should logically follow that I’m not into Destroyer. That’s not exactly true.

Although I was late to the game with both Destroyer and The New Pornographers, I actually learned about Destroyer way before I got into the Pornos. Back in 2002, I got Destroyer’s This Night on the recommendation of a shopkeeper who knew my taste well. I bought a lot of records that year, and I didn’t make a year-end list, but This Night probably would have just barely made the top 25. It wasn’t represented on my year-end mix cd, but I still liked the album a lot. Incidentally, I lost my physical copy a long time ago and just now remembered that fact.

This Night is the fifth Destroyer record, and for some reason, I never bothered to pick up the previous or subsequent ones until I got last year’s highly acclaimed Kaputt, which I still haven’t grown into liking very much.

“Holly Going Lightly” is named after but likely not based on the main character in Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s. And now I’m reminded that I need to watch that movie again and read the story again.

Anyway, here’s the song:

“Holly Going Lightly” by Destroyer

In a way that I can’t really explain, this song reminds me of “Type Slowly” by Pavement.

I’m not wild about the extended coda, but I still like the song quite a bit. Unfortunately, that’s all I have to say about this song.

You can buy This Night directly from the Merge Records web store here. Remember that there’s free shipping within the United States.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

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