Since hitting it big as a member of Arcade Fire, Owen Pallett has rivaled Andrew Bird as indie rock's leading violinist. Pallett's solo works, which he performed as Final Fantasy until ditching that moniker for his real name this year, hardly sound like your typical chamber music.

Since hitting it big as a member of Arcade Fire, Owen Pallett has rivaled Andrew Bird as indie rock's leading violinist. Pallett's solo works, which he performed as Final Fantasy until ditching that moniker for his real name this year, hardly sound like your typical chamber music.

"Heartland," Pallett's latest, is a prim and proper pop record built with soft, warm keyboard and organ sounds as much as his ever-present violin. At times, as on exultant single "Lewis Takes Off His Shirt," the album feels more like a dream world take on synth-powered New Wave. "The Great Elsewhere" tosses Warp Records-style glitches into the mix.

Pallett doesn't ignore his signature instrument, though, giving it a workout within the first song and rarely relenting afterward. Whack-a-mole string plucks come fast and furious in "Midnight Directives" as another violin track plays the sort of lead line that brings emotional payoff to all the tension-building textures.

On stage, Pallett goes solo, building layers of violin one by one with a loop pedal. It's supposed to be magical.