Small Sins
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Small Sins


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The best kept secret in music


"The Province"

"The best Canadian band you've never heard of ... The Toronto quintet is closer to XTC channelling Beautiful South through Flaming Lips ... From its matching whites - Fruit of the Loom tees and polyester deckhand slacks straight off Love Boat - to a potentially lethal handclap fetish, this unit's live show is all fun, all the time." - The Province

"PopWheery on SxSW"

"We saw the future of rock n' roll. It is the Ladies and Gentlemen." -

"Columbia Journal"

"Former Carnations member, Thom D'arcy, brings along his new project The Ladies and Gentlemen, complete with circling keyboards fills, almost whispered vocals and a chorus which doesn't leave your head." - Columbia Journal

"Eye Weekly"

"Their unassuming anthems - think Pavement's slacker soul plugged into a bank of Korgs - demand extra attention to the small details: subtle synth melodies, well-timed handclaps, maraca shakes, four-way "oohs" and "aahs."" - Eye Weekly


"The Ladies and Gentlemen, formed by former Carnations member Thom D'Arcy, is shaping up to be Canada's answer to Grandaddy, with the same gentle melodies, electronic touches, and charmingly lugubrious singing as the California band, and the sweet "Stay" instantly makes them one of the Canadian bands to watch for in early 2005." -


Single: "Stay" - Boompa Volume 1 (Aug. 24/04, Boompa Records)

Album: Small Sins (TBA, Boompa Records)


Feeling a bit camera shy


It's funny how the frigid, desolate winter could yield music so warm and inviting, but it's something that Canada's indie artists know how to do all too well. Although the white that dominates the artwork on SMALL SINS, the debut album by THE LADIES & GENTLEMEN, might appear stark, the music is anything but. No, this isn't the kind of sterile, bleak white that greets Canadians when they gaze out at the chilly, monochrome mid-January landscape; when you hear SMALL SINS, the classic definition of white immediately comes to mind, that of all the rays of the solar spectrum combined.

At the helm of THE LADIES & GENTLEMEN is Thomas D'Arcy, who wrote, performed, and produced SMALL SINS on his own. A former member of Toronto band The Carnations, D'Arcy is already well-schooled in the Canadian indie rock scene. After recording three EPs, one full-length album to much critical praise, plus extensive touring, 2004 saw D'Arcy deciding it was time to launch off on his own solo endeavour.

Nestled in his basement, the solo project that would eventually become THE LADIES & GENTLEMEN slowly took shape. After attracting the attention of Vancouver's Boompa Records, listeners got their first taste of THE LADIES & GENTLEMEN when "Stay" was included on Boompa's first label compilation, the critically acclaimed Boompa Volume One. A sumptuous blend of upbeat pop and introspective lyrical themes, the track was one of the CD's highlights, and serves as an accurate representation of The Ladies and Gentlemen's sound.

Like Grandaddy and The Postal Service, electronic elements dominate SMALL SINS, but despite the presence of myriad keyboards, electronic effects, and drum machines, the organic feel of the new album is never compromised. SMALL SINS doesn't show off, as it takes the more subtle approach; it might sound simplistic and bare in production upon first listen, but dig a little deeper, and you'll find each song is skillfully arranged to achieve a rich texture of background instrumentation, surrounded by honest and complex lyrics.

"I feel more naked and self-concious about it than anything that I have created before," says D'Arcy. "But also liberated and proud of it in a way that I've never felt before either."

In addition to "Stay", SMALL SINS is highlighted by the gentle vocal harmonies on "Threw it All Away", the sweet melody of "She's the Source", which masks a much darker subject matter, the upbeat "It's Easy", and the gentle electro pop of "Won't Make it Easier". The album comes to a stirring climax; first, on the brooding "At Least You Feel Something", and then on the dreamy concluding track "Is She the One".

A one-man show on record, THE LADIES & GENTLEMEN are now a full-fledged band, featuring D'Arcy, guitarist/keyboardists Andreas Tompros and Steve Kreklo, drummer Shayne Cox, and keyboardist/handclapper Kevin Hilliard. THE LADIES & GENTLEMEN have already played well-received showcases at both Toronto's Canadian Music Week and NxNE - where D'Arcy was awarded the Galaxie Rising Star Award - and Austin's SxSW conference this past March.

So if you ever see a bunch of guys clad in white onstage, playing some of the most brilliant indie pop you've heard in quite a while, they're not just a band of moonlighting milkmen. They're merely one of the best things to happen to Canadian indie rock in recent memory.