For the balance of high drama and emotional verisimilitude, few bands compare to the Dears. On “Taking It To The Grave” as in many of their songs, I imagine a scene unfolding at a daytime street cafe: two lovers sit across from each other, conferring in low volumes and darting ambiguous glances at each other. Amid the urban bustle all seems mundane — at one point, one of them replaces the baby’s fallen pacifier — but quietly a reveal of startling gravity is established. A point of no return has been acknowledged; a decision to rob a bank made; or maybe they simply consider an uncertain future of civilizational collapse. As the world fades behind their gaze, they promise whatever kind of love they can salvage to each other. Man, I would pay money to see this movie!
The Dears’ brand new album Times Infinity Volume Two is, as the title suggests, a sequel to this veteran band’s 2015 return from a lengthy spell raising family and pursuing individual talents (writing, photography, a solo album). More than twenty years into this game, Murray Lightburn and Natalia Yanchak are lifers from Montreal’s indie-rock scene. The band doesn’t really stray from its self-styled “orchestral pop noir” template, but age suits the Dears well, lending character to what was once a twenty-something’s flight of fancy. It also makes their stab at jauntier numbers like “Of Fisticuffs” all the more satisfying. The Dears are prepared to throw down and kick ass if it kills them — a sentiment us middle-aged folks can appreciate.
Times Infinity Volume Two is out now on Dangerbird Records in digital format and physical format.