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Who? Born and bred in Verona Italy, Canadians (sans the ‘the’) — Duccio Simbeni (vocals/guitar), Michele Nicoli (guitar), Massimo Fiorio (bass/vocals), Vittorio Pozzato (keyboards/vocals) and Christian Corso (drums) — formed in 2005. A Sky With No Stars marks the band’s debut effort, of which is making enough waves in their native Italy, to cross the big Atlantic wave next spring for their first Stateside appearance at SXSW ’08.

What’s the Deal? Though they may be “a sad band pretending to be a happy one,” as Massimo puts it to, Canadians’ sound can’t help separate itself from the sunshiny, West Coast vibe it idolizes. With fuzzy, Weezer-era power chords, Casio playtime key-fills and nerdy-nasal “Teenege Dirtbag” vocals à la Wheatus, it’s Beach Boys for the grunge set, though one vocal shy of the four-part harmony. Also riddled with songs about summer, old flames and nature, A Sky With No Stars does have its dark melodies, to validate Massimo, as on the minor-key bell twinkles in “Good News,” but they’re all outshined with heavy party-hook galore on anthems such as “Ode to the Season” and “Summer Teenage Girl.”

Fun Fact: The name Canadians is happenstance, on account of Massimo’s love for the word one day at rehearsal. Though when they’re feeling creative they like to tell people one of the following stories: “We like Canadian bands. We like Canadian flag. We like Canadian nature. We like Canadian girls.”