GLASS CANDY at Wrongbar (1279 Queen West), tonight (Thursday, June 17), 1 am. $15 or NXNE wristband/pass. nxne.com.
If there's such a thing as an earthy disco queen, it's Ida No.
The silken-voiced singer for cosmic beat-pumping duo Glass Candy isn't as urbane as you might expect. In fact, many of her lyrics, melodies and themes are inspired by hikes in the lush tree-lined hills that surround her Portland home.
"I go on really long walks and won't come back for four hours," says No. "I'll go for a walk and a theme will come up or I'll get overcome by a feeling."
She then conveys these vocal lines to long-time musical partner Johnny Jewel, who writes and composes Glass Candy's analog-synth-based jams. These writing sessions have become a long-distance affair of late. Jewel recently relocated to Montreal to be with his romantic interest.
"Even when we lived in the same apartment, we were on opposite sides of the continent," she laughs. "He's always been really headstrong and off in his own creative world, and I am, too, so not much has changed."
Jewel's move to Montreal to shack up and make music with his female partner follows a familiar pattern for the Texan. After years of living with No and doing Glass Candy (which formed in 1995), he formed the similar-sounding Chromatics in 2006 with girlfriend Ruth Radelet. Desire, a synth-pop unit featuring Megan Louise on vocals, is his latest love/music partnership.
"From an outside perspective, that must look like [makes cat fighting noises], but there's no competition. It's more like a good family feeling. The people in those bands are like my best friends."