Canadian indie rock darlings The Dears, a loose collective of Montreal-area musicians formed in 1995, by the charismatic Murray Lightburn and joined by Natalia Yanchak a few years later. Citing Serge Gainsbourg as a major influence, the Dears combine cabaret-style vocals with a moody, intense brand of orchestral pop/rock. Lightburn's vision for the band is to create music out of real emotions, often giving his performances the feel of a musical therapy session. The group’s attunement to songwriting is shaped equally by nineties rock and a broad tableau of gospel, soul, and pop music.
Following the UK release of much-applauded Times Infinity Volume One, with which the band made their return following a six-year absence, earlier this year, and a run of sold-out UK & Euro live shows, they are now releasing Times Infinity Vol Two, which was actually completed at the same time as the first volume.
The themes covered on their latest work (sixth and seventh albums) Times Infinity Volume One and Times Infinity Volume Two, respectively, are generally “Romantique” — familiar territory for The Dears; unconditional love, longing, and a debilitating fear of loneliness. Written over a two-year period, both albums were committed to audio over several recording sessions at the luxuriant Revolution Recording (Toronto) and Thee Mighty Hotel2Tango (Montréal).
The sound is described by Natalia as “utterly chill while staying true to the band’s tradition of embracing our refined yet sloppy roots.” The performance that most captures this is Volume One single, “I Used To Pray For The Heavens To Fall.”
Times Infinity Volume Two, completed in tandem, will be released internationally in 2017, soon after Volume One. The band notes that Volume Two is the “much darker” installment of the pair.
Of the project, Murray says: “Putting these two records together was like solving a puzzle: Volume One was about finding the edge pieces while Volume Two was about the middle pieces. It was very difficult to wrap one’s head around at first, but by the end of production, it just became easier and easier. It’s a metaphor for life, and our life’s story.”