The crashing intro here states the issue plainly: The Dears are back, m—-rf–kers! No one ever created such a blend of mid-period Roxy Music, 90s Britpop razzle-dazzle, and French pop flair with as much skill and panache as these two-decade veterans of Montreal’s indie-rock scene. As the group filled ever longer gaps between album with activities like raising children, writing novels and releasing solo albums, it was beginning to look like they might fade from existence. Thus the excitement surrounding “I Used To Pray For The Heavens To Fall,” a fantastic track that announces the arrival of two (!) albums of new material.
“Whose side are you on?” singer Murray Lightburn asks in his usual, deliciously overwrought fashion. The Dears have always been ones to stoke high emotion, although not without humor and self-awareness. (After all, this is a group with a single titled “22 – The Death Of All The Romance.”) Yet whereas their dramatic streak has often divided listeners, I find it sits surprisingly well with the coming of middle age and its silent, everyday dramas — disillusionment, growing apart, the inheritance of familial wreckage, the despair for future generations. Never ones to mail it in, the Dears are perhaps more vital, more necessary than ever before. If you’ve never heard them before, or especially if you’ve passed on them previously, give this new track a listen and take seriously the challenge put forth by the Dears.
Times Infinity Volume One comes out on Dangerbird Records on September 18.