Dan Bejar started Destroyer as a solo project in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1995.
His first album, 1996's We'll Build Them a Golden Bridge, was an electric folk record, setting the stage for the early Bowie comparisons that were certain to follow his particular vocal style. In 1998, Bejar added a rhythm section and took it into the studio for the first time.
The resulting recording, City of Daughters, was a sparsely produced collection of catchy pop songs in which Bejar's increasingly unusual lyrics started to stand out. Thief, again recorded in Vancouver, was released in 2000, but by then the lineup had expanded into a quintet.
The sparse production and the Bowiecomparisons remained, but Bejar's cryptic lyrics and unique voice came into their own as Destroyer continued taking shape. In the meantime, Bejar, along with Carl Newman of Zumpano, was one of the songwriters responsible for the much-acclaimed New Pornographers debut, Mass Romantic (Mint Records), released that same year.