Write Your English Music, Run Free: Streethawk: A Seduction Turns 20

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Destroyer – Streethawk: A Seduction

Released April 24th, 2001 on Misra Records

Produced by John Collins and David Carswell

2001 was a big year for Dan Bejar. The Vancouver-based musician was already coming off of a big year; 2000 was the year his fourth album, Thief was recorded. It was the first Destroyer album made with a full band and as such was the first Destroyer album that sounds like something more than a collection of song-sketches that Bejar put together at odd moments. 2000 was also the year of the New Pornographers’ debut album Mass Romantic, easily one of the five or six best power pop records ever made. To cap that off he went glam on his next album, crafting a record that sounds like Hunky Dory era Bowie but made with Bejar’s precise, every-gesture-is-a-moment style of creation.

If We’ll Build Them A Golden Bridge and Ideas For Songs were Bejar learning how to write songs in public, and City of Daughters and Thief are Bejar learning how to record those songs with other people, then Streethawk: A Seduction is where all of his former potential becomes realized. Like all of his previous albums, it sounds like it’s on the verge of falling apart, but this time it was all by design. He teases out the brilliant, world-weary and wise observations that before he let run by without remark; this is an album made out of moments that stick to your fingers and clothing for hours afterward, cigarette smoke in musical form.

In the 20 years since he’s established himself as one of his generation’s finest songwriters, both as a power-pop songwriter (up until 2014 with the New Pornographers) and with his own free-flowing brand (continuously, including last year). Streethawk remains a golden moment for his work, the instant that his songwriting broke through.

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