You can bet that every review of Perhapst's self-titled debut (this one obviously included) is going to mention the credentials of the band's John Moen—an indie-rock hall-of-famer who's played drums with the Dharma Bums, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, the Decemberists, and Elliott Smith—as well as the fact that Malkmus contributes some guitar work on the record and that fellow Decemberist Chris Funk plays in the live band. While those are all interesting facts, the truth is that this album doesn't need crutches to distinguish itself.

Perhapst (essentially a one-man studio project) is a delightfully old-school indie-rock record that blissfully cruises down quirky roads and meanders through sunny sonic meadows. Opening track "Quote" wouldn't sound out of place on a Sunset Valley album, while "Blue Year" is a study in mellow melancholy that builds into some choppy guitar crests. Rockers "Caution" and "Harbour" have a rollicking, almost giddy feel to them—you know they're going to be a blast when the band play them live. The "ah-ooh-ah" choruses of "Incense Cone" lend the song a disarming, naive quality, and the buoyant "Maryanne" is a three-and-a-half-minute sugar rush of a pop song.

Perhapst might not be breaking into any new territory, but there's a refreshing feeling of fun to the album. It's reassuring to hear a veteran musician creating music this unguarded and relaxed. With all due respect to the Decemberists, it might not be such a bad idea to let your drummer contribute a few unassuming gems.

Perhapst play Thurs June 5, Re-bar, 8 pm, $7, 21+. With Little Pieces, Hazelwood Motel.

Perchance recommendedrecommendedrecommendedrecommended

Mayhaps recommendedrecommendedrecommended

Possibly recommendedrecommended

Maybe recommended