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Breaking Artist: Crystal Castles

February 13, 2008 3:06 PM ET

Who: Toronto duo Crystal Castles, who, after a string of EPs and acclaimed remixes are ready to flood your eardrums with their own self-titled full-length debut on March 18th.

Sounds Like: An amalgamation of Klaxons' nu-rave dance, the Velvet Underground's more cacophonous moments and the 8-bit aesthetics of famed Nintendo composers Yoshihiro Sakaguchi and Koji Kondo. The band was shocked when they discovered how quickly their music (literally) moved people. "One of our first shows, the venue said 'We've been hosting shows for years, but no one really dances at our shows,' " multi-instrumentalist Ethan Fawn says, "but people like dancing to Crystal Castles."

Vital Stats:

• Legrand's uncle is the great French film composer Michel Legrand, who scored films by Jean-Luc Godard (A Woman is a Woman, Band of Outsiders) and was nominated for Academy Awards for scoring The Thomas Crown Affair and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.

• Avoiding the White Stripes route of band relations, the duo is admittedly not romantically-involved. Legrand has a boyfriend, while Scally dates a chef on the Food Network's Ace of Cakes.

• The band is a product of Baltimore's exploding indie-rock movement. After the center of renaissance is the Wham City artist collective, which boasts CMJ favorite Dan Deacon as its poster child.

Hear It Now: Devotion hits shelves in CD stores and digital music services on February 28th. In the meantime, check out their video for "Master of None," off their self-titled debut album.

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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