Most singer/songwriters are lonely souls with only a stool, an acoustic guitar and a heart-worn sleeve. Not Jason Collett. Oh sure, the Broken Social Scene guitarist has his instrument and a stack of intimate tales to tell-but his new solo album, Idols of Exile, sounds more like a house party.

Since 2001, Collett has been considered the indispensable lynchpin of Toronto's booming indie scene, thanks largely to his casual (and still occasional) star-studded songwriting night known as Radio Mondays. Of course, most of these tunesmiths-such as Hayden, Kathleen Edwards, Weakerthans and most of the Arts-Crafts family-weren't stars yet. But Collett's beloved community-building series solidified the Toronto indie movement that would soon take off worldwide and connected Collett with his future social scene.

Collett was asked to join Broken Social Scene after their breakthrough album You Forgot It In People, but he was a solo artist first and never stopped writing his own tunes. When pressed for influences for his more roots-based style, he cites Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson and Nick Lowe. "My stuff is based around songs and the Social Scene thing is based around busting songs wide open," he says. "My thing is more schooled."