Seventeen years after <em>No Cities Left</em>, The Dears loop the loop with <em>Lovers Rock</em>.
May 9, 2020 4: 00
The Dears : Love and the end of the world
In 2003, the band the Dears launched the album No Cities Left, which propelled him on the international scene. We still lived in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001, the coins were tinted. Seventeen years later, the club-loop a loop with Rock Lovers. Still the romance and the ideas of end of the world… This is the menu music perfect to listen to in full pandemic. Even if, of course, the creators did not see it coming, the context for the less surreal of the COVID-19.
At the end of the thread, the author, composer and singer Murray Lightburn acknowledges that the songs he has signed may resonate differently in these times of health crisis. “The timing is there,” he observes. Even if this is not what we wanted to say. The nature of what we are doing still holds to this idea : “And if that happened?” It is always about who we are during critical periods. We always try to return to our essence, our identity, the choices we would make in the circumstances. This album is not so different from our other albums in this sense… But our other albums are not released in full pandemic.”
In some 25 years of indie rock, The Dears, he saw his alignment change. At the heart of the group, the couple in music as in life, trained by Murray Lightburn and Natalia Yanchak, now parents of two children. In the movements of the industry, they have “seen it all”, according to Lightburn. Sites of illegal downloads to platforms listen continuously, the group has stayed the course.
“There are things that will always remain, slice-t-it. You have to make the best album possible. Regardless of the context. On each album we launch, there is something new that comes with it.”
Without too see it coming, the members of The Dears may have completed a cycle with the latest Lovers Rock. In the background, a concern similar compared to the future, and stories of love in a context of apocalyptic…
“No Cities Left is released two years after the events of September 11, 2001, and there was always consequences, ” observes Murray Lightburn. The war resumed in the Middle East when this album is released. Then, we toured and I remember to have seen George W. Bush on tv saying that we were going to war… And this war is not over!”
Between the creation and promotion of a solo album — the acclaimed Hear Me Out — and the new effort of the Dears, Murray Lightburn said to have had an episode of exhaustion, even if in his eyes, the two initiatives feed the other. “My solo project, it’s like my den, image-t-it. I can be alone with other thoughts that do not come to interfere with what The Dears has become. The identity of the group is very much defined over the years : what we are, the subjects that we deal with in songs. The solo project allows me to develop themes that I would explore not in the universe of the Dears.”
When the time came to assemble the next album of his training, Lightburn and his accomplice quickly made links with their past, particularly with the album No Cities Left, which has put the spotlight on them in 2003. “With Natalia, we began to see similarities between certain songs. I think the future will tell us if the connection between these two albums is true. But I can’t see another album in our repertoire that approach as much of it,” recalls the musician.
If he sings love in a context of end of the world, Murray Lightburn describes himself as an optimist. In confinement, he cherishes the moments spent with his wife and children, his “favorite people”.
And if there is a certain darkness in his poetry, it is not devoid of hope.
“Natalia and I love to find solutions,” he says. It motivates us. But to solve a problem, it is necessary to put the finger on what’s wrong exactly. And it is thus that I present our albums : here are the problems, here are some solutions. We like to say that there is no insoluble problem. But yes, I like to see the glass half full…”