Dragonette may just be the best band you’ve never heard before. In 2007 the Canadian electro-pop quartet released an all-killer no-filler album, Galore, to brilliant reviews but the general indifference of the great unwashed — neither the album nor its outstanding singles troubled the charts, anywhere.
Now they’re back with an even better follow-up, Fixin To Thrill, and world domination again seems a tantalising possibility.
Speaking to Sydney Star Observer, frontwoman Martina Sorbara insisted their debut album’s under-performance didn’t faze her.
“I guess I’m kind of idealistic, but my goal for that record was for us to be able to travel the world and play for people everywhere, and we did that. We got to fly to the other side of the world and play in sweaty clubs for 400 people, and that made me happy,” she said.
Surprisingly, Sorbara feels that Dragonette’s blend of 80s-inspired fizzy pop — seemingly tailor-made for the top of the charts in this post-Gaga world — has niche appeal.
“I don’t consider us to make mass-marketable music, anyway. We just don’t make that kind of music,” she said.
Perhaps so, but songs like the anthemic current single Pick Up The Phone (think Pat Benatar gone electro) are infinitely more chart-friendly than those of Sorbara’s previous incarnation, as a Jewel-esque acoustic singer-songwriter. She squealed at the mention of her 2000 solo album, The Cure For Bad Deeds, which sounded worlds away from the thrilling pop of her current band.
“At the end of doing my solo stuff, the music I was inspired by was so different from the music I felt I could make by myself. Every time I picked up my guitar or played the piano, I thought ‘Aagh, I’m so bored with myself, and I’m so bored with this format’.
“Then I met Dan, we moved in together and recorded [the band’s sexed-up debut single] I Get Around in his basement — and Dragonette began.”
Dan is Dan Kurtz, Sorbara’s songwriting partner — and husband. It’s his drive she credits with getting Fixin To Thrill made.
“I’ve never had the discipline to do a follow-up album before — its so daunting, I just couldn’t bring myself to make one when I was solo. But this album just flowed out of us in a really easy way. I think if I wasn’t in this band with Dan, a second album would’ve never happened. He’s the whip-cracker with all the discipline, whereas I’m so flighty and non-committal.”
While being able to tour the world with your partner sure beats leaving them at home, are there any negative aspects to being in a band with your husband?
“Oh yeeeaaah,” she laughed.
“The good side definitely outweighs the bad, but when you’re in bed at midnight talking about which country you should try to tour next, you know that your job is taking up too much of your life — really, you should be having sex.”
info: Fixin To Thrill is out October 3. Dragonette play Stereosonic on November 28.