Photo: Richmond Lam
Photo: Richmond Lam

The Dears: The Worst In Us

The Dears - The Worst In Us (Dangerbird Records): The Montreal rock veterans were a big part of the explosion of Canadian indie rock in the 00s, but have been comparatively quiet of late. Group leader Murray Lighburn released a solo album last year and has now reassembled the troops for the forthcoming full-length, Lovers Rock (out May 15).

The Worst In Us is the album's first single, and it's a strong one. Lightburn's richly dramatic vocals and romantic lyrics ("This world has no chance against a flame-throwing vehement romance") are well to the fore here, alongside ringing guitars, swirling strings, and a mid-song piano interlude.

Discussing the album in a label press release, the singer explains that "there’s a direct line between the sort of gloominess of No Cities Left  [The Dears' 2003 breakthrough] and this album. You could go straight from Lovers Rock to No Cities Left and it’s like they're interlocked. But it's a different kind of doom.  Around 2001, it felt like, ‘We have no control. We don't know what's going to happen next.’ Now it’s a doom that's within our grasp. It’s in the air. It’s between us. But we do nothing about it.” Prophetic stuff.

The group's two constants are Lighburn and the other core member, pianist/vocalist Natalia Yanchak. On Lovers Rock, the pair are joined by Jeff "Looch" Luciani, Steve Raegele, and Rémi-Jean LeBlanc, with cameo appearances by Sam Roberts, Alex Francoeur and the E Street Band’s Jake Clemons.

The Dears had planned to preview Lovers Rock across twelve April shows in Europe and the UK before playing select North American cities between May and July, but the coronavirus pandemic places these in doubt. Check the group's website for updates.

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PR: Brendan Bourke | The Syndicate

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