You might recognize Mikal Cronin as the bassist of the Ty Segall Band, a group whose periodic Toronto tour stops are famous for fuzz-driven, stage-diving, security-deking antics.
That should make the long-locked Californian an ideal choice for Dan Burke's annual "triple-header" at the Silver Dollar, a three-night NXNE residency that snowballs by word of mouth as the shows get rowdier.
But on Cronin's sophomore solo album, MCII (Merge), garage punk swagger takes a back seat to introspective power pop melodies fleshed out by elegantly composed string and horn arrangements.
Before recording the album, Cronin completed a degree in music at the California Institute of the Arts. He draws as much from that education as from his collection of David Bowie, Beatles and Bill Fay records for "a flurry of well-arranged but accessible pop music."
Not what you'd typically associate with a member of the spaced-out San Francisco scene, but we can't argue with musical evolution. "I can't speak for Ty's writing process, but mine is very conscious and self-aware," says Cronin.
"Studying theory and performance has definitely changed my way of listening and interpreting music, but I'm still trying to make something direct and emotionally driven. It's not like it's some academic experiment."
Even though his music is brainier than that of his peers, those craving the hair-swinging sweat rock of Ty Segall won't be disappointed.
"It's definitely more of a rock show," he says enthusiastically. "It's heavier, more exciting and a bit more out of control than if I had 15 people up there reproducing the record exactly."