Dance Movie Champions Bar & Grill, Truro NS, November 8

Dance Movie Champions Bar & Grill, Truro NS, November 8
Photo: Joshua Ellner
I spent much of last night's performance by Halifax's Dance Movie counting, and unless my calculations are off, every song the band performed had the word "heart" somewhere in the lyrics. There were songs about little hearts, needy hearts, found hearts… heck, given songwriter Tara Thorne's taste for pop culture tributes, one of the songs may have even been about the band Heart, for all I know, and I just didn't pick up on it.

Thorne's writing has a certain widescreen quality to it — or, perhaps, more like a 4:3 quality (the aspect ratio for pre-HD television). Her songs have always felt like soundtracks in search of shows: small moments and feelings filtered into tightly wound dramas threatening to become Big Moments for the season-ending montage. What was revelatory about the band's Nova Scotia Music Week set is the songs felt like big moments in and of themselves: their new material is forceful, loud and deliriously catchy.

In part, it's because this is a notably different Dance Movie than the one that released the solid Interlopers two years ago, as evidenced by Dark for Dark's Rebecca Zolkower still in tow but now branding an Epiphone guitar rather than violin. But these are different songs too: still passionate, still deeply pop cultured — "Friday Night Mights," "2 Legit to Commit" — but now delivered in full-blown power pop mode. The band's forthcoming LP was produced by John Goodmanson of Sleater-Kinney fame and, if it proves even half as engaging as their NSMW set, it'll be worth tuning in for.