Toronto power pop duo PONY have announced their sophomore album Velveteen which will be out May 19 via Take This To Heart Records. The album was inspired in part by The Velveteen Rabbit, which singer/guitarist Sam Bielanski would read while struggling with insomnia. They explain:

I became obsessed with it but I always fell asleep before getting to the end. The way I interpreted the story was that it's the love that we give and receive that makes us real or whole. The one chapter I found especially heart wrenching is when the velveteen rabbit is trying to hang with the real rabbits of the forest, and through comparison, he realizes he isn’t as real as he thought he was. It was a good lesson for me, even now, because I'm constantly fighting the urge to compare myself to others. Your individual experiences make you who you are and nothing can change that. That's what I thought, until I finally listened to the whole thing and found out that at the end of the book, a fairy turns the velveteen rabbit into an actual rabbit, which I felt undermined the earlier lessons of the story. After that, I was really confused.

Velveteen features previously-released singles "Did It Again," "Peach," and "French Class," and they've just shared album opener "Très Jolie," an uber-catchy anthem rife with power chords and early '00s nostalgia. “‘Très Jolie’ is obviously a love song. It’s about falling hard and fast, and allowing your love brain to trick you into believing that you’re in a healthier mental state than you truly are,” Sam shares. “[It's] about the conflicting emotions of falling in love with someone when you don’t quite love yourself yet.” Check out "Très Jolie" and the album art and tracklist for Velveteen below.

PONY will join Softcult and Superheaven on select North American dates in March and May, respectively. Tickets are available now.

PONY come to Brooklyn with Superheaven and Cloakroom on May 19 at Elsewhere. All dates below.

PONY, Velveteen

1. Très Jolie
2. Peach
3. Sick
4. Sucker Punch
5. Haunted House
6. Who’s Calling
7. Did It Again
8. French Class
9. Sunny Rose
10. Haircut

PONY -- 2023 Tour Dates
03/28/2023 - Hamilton, ON - Mills Hardware*
03/31/2023 - Toronto, ON - The Drake Underground*
05/19/2023 - Brooklyn, NY - Elsewhere+
05/20/2023 - Philadelphia, PA - Union Transfer+
05/21/2023 - Boston, MA - Crystal Ballroom+ (SOLD OUT)
05/22/2023 - Boston, MA - Crystal Ballroom+
*Direct support for Softcult
+Supporting Superheaven

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