Jay Arner Handlebar, Toronto ON, June 13
Published Jun 14, 2013Since signing with Mint Records in early April, Vancouver indie pop tunesmith Jay Arner has been steadily building buzz across Canada. With a coast-to-coast tour currently under way and his first proper label release coming out in a little over a week, there were high expectations for the budding multi-instrumentalist. Taking the stage to perform his opening slot at Kensington Market's Handlebar, Arner initially came across as more of an annoying little brother than BC's answer to Mac DeMarco. Performing tracks from his upcoming album and recent seven-inch, Arner dreamily played through his myriad outsider pop tunes as his four-piece band tried to keep up with his increasingly lazy strumming. Combining Kevin Barnes-esque vocals with a possible penchant for Pavement, Arner slowly plucked his way through more popular tracks like "Midnight on South Grainville" and "Bird of Prey," before bringing the set to a close with psychedelic synthesizers and even more jangly guitars. Stephen Malkmus, look out. There may be a new king of the slackers.