Ladies and Gentlemen Small Sins

Though the band’s name suggests one of those sprawling indie rock collectives so popular in our home and native land of late, Small Sins was in fact a solo project for Toronto songwriter Thom D’Arcy (formerly of power-popsters the Carnations), who took the one-man band concept to its limit, playing all the guitars, bass, drums and keyboards himself, not to mention singing all the lovely falsetto harmonies. D’Arcy has since gone on to assemble a solid live band (which recently won the Galaxie Rising Star award at this year’s North by Northeast festival), but his tuneful electro-tinged pop songs (reminiscent of the Postal Service, but less slavishly devoted to indie-electro form) are at the core of the Ladies and Gentlemen. Those who heard the stick-in-your-head "Stay” on Boompa’s first label compilation disc last year will be delighted that the rest of Small Sins is equally catchy — a clever blend of sleek synths, breezy vocals and bittersweet lyrics. When D’Arcy sighs, "You can stay if you want to/But you can’t stay in my bed,” the uncertainty in his voice is so palpable, you just want to give the guy a hug. Fittingly, the album closes with the sweetly wistful "Is She the One?” D’Arcy may be tentative in love, but Small Sins indicates that his knack for penning perfect pop is anything but doubtful. (BOOMPA!)