BEAT BLASTED Since 2005, Dragonette have straddled many different worlds, managing to be rock,
dance, indie, pop, and a DJ collaborative, constantly firing on full cylinders.
Do you think you could make it in the music world? If you answered "yes," then ask yourself this follow-up: how game are you? Because the truth of the matter is that even though skill and talent are important, a willlingness to see what happens and a willingness to find a place for your art in this complex, interwoven musical marketplace is a challenge far greater than just coming up with chord changes or showing up to the club on time. Toronto indie-dance-rock-electro-pop trio Dragonette don't really care if people think that they are this or that — as long as the ride is interesting and they are able to do their thing, musically speaking. "We like to go to random cities and countries that we've never been to," explains singer Martina Sorbara. "It's part of the adventure that this band has taken us on."
Since forming in 2005, Dragonette have straddled many different worlds, managing to be rock, dance, indie, pop, and a DJ collaborative, constantly firing on full cylinders. When I spoke to Sorbara, at the apartment in London that she shares with husband/bassist/producer Dan Kurtz, it was far from the typical lounging around the house before a tour: this was Sorbara and Kurtz's last day in the apartment and in London, since the impending tour will also see them relocating back to their native Canada. "No matter where our house is," Sorbara explains, "we're not gonna have a lot of time in it. Dan says 'We don't need a home, we can always live in hotels and buses,' to which I reply, 'I want to kill you.' "
But he does have a point: the couple, along with drummer/producer Joel Stouffer, have rarely stopped moving since releasing their homonymous debut EP in 2005. They managed within a few years to become the toast of the indie-Canada world, but it wasn't until they collaborated with Martin Solveig on his worldwide 2010 smash "Hello" that the globe began to seriously notice this scrappy mobile dance party. "Hello" is a relentlessly bouncing anthem buoyed by Solveig's top-notch way around a hook and Sorbara's chirpy croon — and since then, Dragonette have ridden the single's momentum to make their mission global. "When we started," Sorbara explains, "we'd book things and be like 'Okay, we're getting five dollars to fly 5000 kilometers — let's do it! Now, we've been hired and flown out to, like, a club in Manila to do a DJ thing, and the whole time on our way we're acutely aware that they think they're getting this certain club thing, like, 'They're gonna be surprised!' "
Sorbara and Co. are hoping that the pop world will be similarly surprised when they drop their latest long-player, the beyond-catchy Bodyparts (out September 25): from the euphoria bomb of "Rocketship" to the motorik stuttering glamwalk of "Live In The City," it's a high-energy sugar bomb packed with kinetic beats, insouciant sass, and sharp synth stabs that manages to be rock, pop, dance, and none of the above. The unified theory behind it all is the band's full-on commitment, as if they have taken all of their years of non-stop energy and melted it into the gooey vinyl grooves of the record.