It's easy to see why nerdy Claire Danes ex Ben Lee was so taken by Pony Up! that he signed the poppy quintet to his Ten Fingers label. The winsome Montreal fillies share his affinity for sweetly jangly hooks, a mid- to late-90s indie rock aesthetic and endearingly goofy lyrics. Luckily, the Ponies have more balls in the songwriting department, and the whimsical band shots on their sleeve art belie the strikingly dark edge that undercuts their tunes, creating a kind of off-kilter, bipolar pop that's weightier than, say, Camera Obscura's fey retro-fluff. The ladies trade off on vocals, which gives this debut EP a nice slumber-party vibe, and although glockenspiel tinkler Camilla Wynne Ingr's off-key Corin Tucker-style yelp can be grating, it works well on the disconcertingly dissonant (and Sleater-Kinneyish) Minstrel. Bubble-gum love letter Matthew Modine ("You make us have creamy jeans!") is a perfect popcult novelty hit.