Sylvie Stand Alone

Sylvie Stand Alone
"It's not like I don't enjoy people mentioning how much they loved Despistado, or how much they miss it, or asking about the differences," says Sylvie vocalist and guitarist Joel Passmore. It's a good thing such lines of questioning don't irk the good-natured Passmore, because the onslaught of press releases containing the phrase "ex-Despistado" is only just beginning. As the ultra-hyped saviours of post-punk from the Great White North (in fact, Regina, Saskatchewan), Despistado were about to make their international mark with a highly anticipated full-length release early in 2005. Instead they broke up.

"It was something that I really loved. I was very proud of everything we accomplished — maybe not so proud of the way things fizzled out," says Passmore, who handled bass duties in the defunct act. With fans chomping at the bit for more of the band's spastic cacophony of sound, interest in Passmore's other project was piqued. Having already released a full-length record as Sylvie 2003 on Does Everyone Stare?, the band had been put on the backburner as Passmore's responsibilities in Despistado grew weightier by the day.

"What a lot of people didn't realise is that it's just me [who was in Despistado]. It's a completely different band. The other three people in Sylvie have as much influence on the sound as I do," he says of group's unique aesthetic, now prominently on display with their sophomore effort, An Electric Trace, on Smallman Records. Cribbing songwriting tips from Jawbox's For Your Own Special Sweetheart, Sylvie's melodic compositions never seem to fall into a comfortable groove, challenging the band and the listener to expect more from what, on the surface, may appear to be a deceptively simple tune. "I think what's exciting is that this album is going to be out and it's new and it's post-Despistado. People can stop asking questions and just reference things on their own and leave it at that."