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Toronto combo PONY play a fuzzy, melodic strain of guitar pop rooted in early-’90s grunge and classic indie pop. Fronted by singer/guitarist Sam Bielanski, the band delivered a series of hooky singles and EPs for Buzz Records in the late 2010s before signing with American indie Take This to Heart Records for their 2021 full-length debut TV Baby.
Borne of a casual idea to write songs about their “shitty boyfriends,” Bielanski and a friend began the project in 2014, and by the following year she had made it official with a self-released EP called Crush. A proper band had now formed around the emerging material and PONY began making a name for themselves around Toronto. Joining her in the band’s initial lineup were bassist Eva Link, guitarist Stephen Giroux, and drummer Matt Sandrin. They signed with regional indie Buzz Records and issued a handful of well-received singles including 2017′s “DIY” and “Alone Tonight.” A second EP, Do You, appeared later that year, drawing comparisons to classic ’90s acts like Juliana Hatfield and the Breeders. By the decade’s end, PONY had established themselves more or less as Bielanski’s project. Working with a new rhythm battery of bassist Matty Morand and drummer Lucas Horne, she completed work on the band’s full-length debut. Released in 2021 by Massachusetts-based label Take This to Heart Records, TV Baby combined the strongest assets of PONY’s sound into a tightly crafted power pop LP with nods to grunge and ’80s pop. ~ Timothy Monger