Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

Lights Off

Photo by Liam Maloney

Say you’re a band who’s been around a while and whose last album got a good amount of critical and popular acclaim and a nomination for a major music prize in your home country. How do you follow that up? Well, if you’re Murray Lightburn of The Dears, you dissolve the whole band with the exception of your wife (that would probably have been too awkward) and make the follow-up entirely on your own. That is the context for Missiles, the fourth proper album released under the Dears name, out October 21.

The whys of it all are unclear – interviews between Lightburn and and Spinner hint at the usual “creative differences” (as well as referencing a sorta funny and almost certainly fake thread at Stille Post) – but having cut the rest of the gang loose, the net result is an album with a creative process considerably different from past efforts, done entirely by the remaining two members.

Compared to Gang of Losers, which was a fairly concise and straight full band rock record, Missiles is more stripped down and introspective. Rock outs are few and arrangements, while still on the lush side, are decidedly leaner and more prone to wander. It’s not nearly a stark, singer-songwriter record – though there are some decidedly raw voice and acoustic guitar moments, there’s still sonic indulgences like soaring guitar solos, sweeping synths and a children’s choir – but it is a far cry from the grandiose musical statements that defined the band in their early days. It’ll take more listens than I’ve been able to give it to determine if this is a creative step forward, backwards or just a sort of contemplative pause, but considering that The Dears will be hitting the road this Fall as a seven-piece, it’s safe to say that keeping things small isn’t in Lightburn’s long-term plans.

Chart talks to Murray Lightburn and Natalia Yanchak about the album and the fact that it’s apparently now leaked to the internets.

The Autumn tour will bring the all-new, all-different Dears to the Music Gallery next week for two shows, October 9 and 10, and courtesy of Maple Music and Filter, I’ve got a pair of passes to give away to each show. To enter, email me at contests AT with “I want to see The Dears on the 9th/10th” (only put one of the dates, please) and your full name in the body. Contest closes at midnight, October 5th.

MySpace: The Dears

Exclaim features Land Of Talk, whose Chris McCarron is a touring member of The Dears. Some Are Lakes is out next Tuesday.

Chart talks to Chad Van Gaalen about his two new records out this Fall – Soft Airplane, out now under his own name, and an electronic record to come out under the Black Mold moniker. The Georgia Straight, Metro, The Hour also have interviews. Van Gaalen is playing the El Mocambo on Saturday night and will do a brief in-store beforehand at Sonic Boom at 6PM. And congrats to Matt who won the contest for passes and a copy of the album on LP.

And Van Gaalen’s tourmates/bandmates in Women will also be doing an in-store, this one at Soundscapes on October 5 at 1PM. Their self-titled debut has been out in Canada since July but gets a US release on October 7.

MP3: Women – “Black Rice”
MP3: Women – “Group Transport Hall”

The UK discovers the wonders of Woodpigeon, with writeups in The Guardian, Q and Metro. If you haven’t grabbed a copy of their limited-edition Treasury Canada Library album, you really really really should.

The New Pornographers have made a new video, though not of pornography.

Video: The New Pornographers – “Mutiny, I Promise You”

Also with the new video action – Final Fantasy, with a clip for one of the tracks from his new Spectrum, 14th Century EP. Still forthcoming is Plays To Please, out October 21. Not entirely sure where you get them in physical form right now, but checking in at his label will surely yield some info in that direction.

Video: Final Fantasy – “The Butcher”

LAist talks to Stars frontman Torq Campbell. They’re at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on December 12 and 13.

PitchforkTV has a twopart video session with Broken Social Scene, who will be at the Sound Academy on November 27.

By : Frank Yang at 9:47 am
Category: Uncategorized
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