THE DEARS, a critically acclaimed “orchestral-pop-noir-romantique” rock’n’roll band from Montréal, is the lifework of Murray A. Lightburn. Son of a jazzmanturned-preacher, Lightburn’s attunement to songwriting was shaped equally by nineties rock and a broad tableau of gospel, soul, and pop music.
The band formed in 1995 and released their first album, End of a Hollywood Bedtime Story, in 2000. Their orchestral, dark pop sound and dramatic live shows cemented THE DEARS at the foundation of the then-emerging Canadian indie renaissance. In 2001 and 2002, they released the EPs Orchestral Pop Noir Romantique and Protest, respectively, as well as a collection of unreleased songs, Nor the Dahlias. In 2003 they released their second full-length album No Cities Left, and a string of highly anticipated shows at SxSW ’04 launched their international career. Gang of Losers was released in 2006, and was well received by the press.
THE DEARS‘ music has been described as a cross between The Smiths and Serge Gainsbourg with Lightburn’s singing voice being likened to Morrissey as well as Blur’s Damon Albarn. The complexity of the music and arrangements has also been compared to Radiohead, Jethro Tull and early Genesis. THE DEAR’S powerful live shows have been described as: “…the sonic equivalent of seeing the face of God.”
Gang of Losers was named to the Short List for the 2007 Polaris Music Prize, and the follow-up Missiles was released in 2008. THE DEARS‘ fifth studio album, Degeneration Street, was a Long List nominee for the 2011 Polaris Music Prize. Their latest project, Times Infinity, is a two-volume album recorded at Thee Mighty Hotel2Tango in Montreal, with release in Europe to be announced soon.
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