Lockdown Read 4

  What Have We Done?

  The Strokes Are Back!

  Within Temptation Single & Tour

  A RISK TOO FAR

  The Reads Return in Style

  Pink Floyd YouTube Festival

  New Album Reviews

  Clem Snide, An LP For Now

  Montreux Jazz Fest at Home!

  Photojournalism Hero

  Shelby Lynne New LP

  Samantha Fish Live

  Black Deer Festival Latest

  Gill Landry Live in Chester

  Jeff Lynne’s ELO Tour Cancelled

  Noah Gundersen Live

  David Gilmour’s Interview

  Snow Patrol Live in Manchester

  New Model Army Live

  Shakespears Sister Live

  Lamb Live in Manchester

  The Struts Live

  Camden Rocks 2019 - Day 2

  Camden Rocks 2019 - Day 1

  Sting & Shaggy Live

  Blancmange & Bernholz Live

  Ana Popovic, Lynne Jackaman Live

  David Gray Live in Liverpool

  The Slow Readers Club Live

  Isreal Nash & Joana Serrat Live

  Karine Polwart Trio Live

  Spear Of Destiny Live

  Benjamin Folke Thomas Live

  Chilly Gonzales Live

  Gomez Live in Manchester

  John Lennon Interview

  Anna Burch Live

  My 100 Greatest Albums

  Ray LaMontagne Live

  Satriani’s G3 Live

  Stick In The Wheel Live

  Halo Maud, Baxter Dury Live

  Matthew Logan Vasquez Live

  The Barr Brothers Live

  Emily Barker Live in Manchester

  Katey Brooks New Single/Album

  Jim White Live in Manchester

  Tori Amos Live

  Bush & RavenEye Live

  Grandaddy Live

  Laura Marling Live

  Frank Carter & the Rattlesnakes

  Martha Wainwright Live

  A Thousand Horses Live

  Rachael Yamagata Live

  Jimmy Eat World Live

  Beverley Knight Live

  Ludovico Einaudi Live

  Courtney Barnett Live

  Mercury Rev Live

  Roger Waters on Amused To Death


The Dears New LP

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The Dears LOVERS ROCK. Dangerbird Records

Montréal quintet The Dears, led by husband and wife duo Murray Lightburn and Natalia Yanchak.

The new LP (the band’s eighth) LOVERS ROCK will arrive digitally on May 15 via Dangerbird Records, along with vinyl pre-orders. The vinyl edition will be available at retail outlets worldwide on August 21. Pre-order LOVERS ROCK here: https://ffm.to/LoversRock

Lightburn recalls that he wrote ‘I Know What You’re Thinking…’ (the first single) while a nationwide manhunt dominated headlines and captured his imagination. “This is a song that came in rather suddenly,” he says. “I woke up one morning and there it was, playing in my head. The news story of a manhunt for a couple of teenage kids who were charged with 2nd degree murder played in the background. I finished the song as news broke that two male bodies found were believed to be them. I am not at all saying the song is about this story, only that I was totally obsessed with the story as I wrote this song.”

Yanchak adds, “This is our ‘The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get’ - a dark, unsettling, and unlikely pop ballad.”

There’s a direct line between the sort of doominess of NO CITIES LEFT (the first album) and this album,” Lightburn says. “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.”

If The Dears have always made apocalyptic love songs for an existential crisis, there are also other constants, starting, of course, with the band’s two core members for two decades: Lightburn and Yanchak. There are also certain sonic and aesthetic parameters, within which the music can be both unsettlingly experimental and impossibly lush: part Bacharach, part Krautrock. You could still call it pop music, “but it’s a different kind of pop music,” says Lightburn. “It’s very focused on a certain type of person. I’m embracing the idea that we’re providing a service,” he adds. Part of that, he thinks, comes from being a parent: “I’m in service to these other humans, so I embrace that role as an artist. I’m making this music because I know that there are people out there who need it.”

The question we’re asking in the music is, ‘how do we navigate so much bullshit in this world?’” says Lightburn. “We’re still playing this dumb rock music. But there’s always gonna be a little twist of the knife, cutting into something deep to make you feel like you’re alive. To say, ‘I know what you’re going through. And I’m hearing you, and I’m with you.’ That’s what the music is supposed to do.”

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On Lovers Rock, Lightburn (vocals, guitar, “other”) and Yanchak (vocals, piano) are joined by longtime drummer Jeff “Looch” Luciani, who’s been in the fold since 2011’s Degeneration Street, and two holdovers from Lightburn’s solo record, Steve Raegele (guitar) and Rémi-Jean LeBlanc (bass). There’s also a string section, a cameo from fellow Montrealer Sam Roberts (who was also on NO CITIES LEFT), and saxophone from both Canadian Alex Francoeur and the E Street Band’s Jake Clemons (on the rattling ‘Stille Lost’).

Review

First track ‘Heart Of An Animal’ literally screams at you as it opens and in underpinned by a dominating bass rhythm. It’s sort of like heavy rock poetry with spoken and sung words, with masses of adventure added by its heavily diverse pace and occasional harmonic romps. It’s original, compelling and rocks like crazy! ‘I Know What You’re Thinking And It’s Awful’ adds slower moving and melodic pop ballad to the mix - more conventional but still mesmerising. ‘Instant Nightmare’ ups the rock anti with electronic punctuations peppering the track. The sweet vocal is provided by Yanchak as she navigates the song’s diverse pace which slows to a crawl at the middle-eight. I’m still very interested (I’ll need to check them out in Manchester in November)…

The sound changes again with the gentle tones of ‘Is This What You Really Want’ and a vocal duette featuring Lightburn and Yanchak. There’s a touch of Beatles in the instrumental arrangement which adds to the song’s attraction. ‘The Worst Us’ enters in over-conventional sonic format while ‘Stille Lost’ takes a further tug at the adventure chord with Lightburn sounding like a battle-bruised alt country performer. ‘No Place On Earth’ opens as a glacially paced tune but opens out in the choruses and could so easily be a 2021 Beachboys release. It’s one of my favourite tracks here.

‘Play Dead’ is introduce by twinkling guitar notes that continue to feature behind a thoughtful and expressive Lightburn vocal. It’s another winner helped by a very strong melody. ‘We’ll Go Into Hiding’ completes the record on a contemplative and beautiful high with drums driving the tune along. This has to be one of the best songs of the year and reminds me of Low at their peak.

4/5

2020 UKI Tour Dates:

19/11 – Cambridge, UK @ Portland Arms
21/11 – Glasgow, UK @ Drygate Theatre
22/11 – Manchester, UK @ Deaf Institute
23/11 – Bristol, UK @ Exchange
24/11 – London, UK @ The Garage
25/11 – Cardiff, UK @ Clwb Ifor Bach

www.instagram.com/thedears
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