The Dears -"All The Hail Marys" (Paper Bag): This Montreal band was a prominent player in the Canadian indie rock boom of the '00s, alongside such comrades as Broken Social Scene, Stars and Metric. Now primarily comprising the husband and wife pairing of Murray Lightburn and Natalia Yanchak, The Dears have had a lower profile of late, but continue to put out credible work.
Their seventh studio album, Times Infinity Volume Two, is due July 14, and this advance single is a winner. The group's original sound was termed orchestral pop-noir, while this tune exhibits shades of psychedelia and soul.
Lightburn's signature lyrical introspection remains in evidence ("I don't care to recall those stories you hold on to"), as does his brooding yet expressive vocal style (think a more melodic Morrissey). The song is boosted by inventive keyboard figures and multi-tracked vocals, building to a rich crescendo, then fading away. Lightburn is justifiably proud of the result, terming it "easily one my fave D's tracks of all time."
The album was recorded with Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire) over a two year period at Toronto’s Revolution Recording and Montréal’s Thee Mighty Hotel2Tango.
The Dears perform their classic 2003 album No Cities Left at Pop Montreal on Sept. 15, followed by 10 UK dates in October.