Destroyer at The Fillmore, by Daniel Kielman

Destroyer is touring North America in support of the Canadian glam rock project’s latest album, ken (out now on Merge Records). Destroyer will perform in San Francisco at the Fillmore on Thursday, January 11 with support from Mega Bog.

The new album finds songwriter Dan Bejar taking a more personal approach to his creative processes, writing the album by himself rather than collaborating with his band. More synth rock than baroque pop, ken finds Bejar incorporating more electronic and synthesized elements into his songs without sacrificing an ounce of his signature style. While the saxophone and trumpet aren’t featured as prominently as they were on 2011’s Kaputt, they help maintain Destroyer’s familiar tone on some of the heavier synth-rock jams like “Ivory Coast” and “Tinseltown Swimming in Blood.”

According to Dan Bejar, the album’s name comes from the original title for “The Wild Ones,” a 1994 Britpop ballad by the band Suede. Bejar explains:

Sometime last year, I discovered that the original name for “The Wild Ones” (one of the great English-language ballads of the last 100 years or so) was “Ken.” I had an epiphany, I was physically struck by this information. In an attempt to hold on to this feeling, I decided to lift the original title of that song and use it for my own purposes. It’s unclear to me what that purpose is, or what the connection is. I was not thinking about Suede when making this record. I was thinking about the last few years of the Thatcher era. Those were the years when music first really came at me like a sickness, I had it bad. Maybe “The Wild Ones” speaks to that feeling, probably why Suede made no sense in America. I think “ken” also means “to know.”

Check out Destroyer’s latest material at the Fillmore on Thursday, and don’t miss Mega Bog — the dreamy, jazz-centric project of Seattle’s Erin Birgy. Mega Bog’s second album Happy Together is up on Bandcamp via Nicey Music.

Destroyer, Mega Bog
The Fillmore
January 11, 2018
8pm, $25