The Dears Gang of Losers

The Dears Gang of Losers
Change is in the cards for this follow-up to the appropriately epic, No Cities Left. Where that album was cold and unforgiving, Losers warms up the sound, inviting the listener to get in close and cosy up to these immaculately composed tunes. If anything binds the two albums together, it’s the precise nature of the songs and how the band seem to make everything fit so perfectly. While this construction was a little too heavy-handed on Cities, here the edges have smoothened and some of that primal passion, dating back to their debut, is present. The amazing "Hate then Love” is a perfect example, as Murray Lightburn’s vocals are still as strong and emotive as they ever were, especially in relation to the driving beat and euphoric guitars. Of course, the Dears, being the masters of drama that they lovingly are, know how to go out on a high note, and "Find Our Way to Freedom” is a fabulous closer. Near the end, Lightburn, almost giving up on the world, whispers fatally over a hushed choir, but the rallying retort of "I won’t” over a triumphant climax of sax, guitars and piano sends an effective shiver. It’s a wonderful coda to an album that lives and breathes like no other: a musical statement daring the listener to join their gang and revel in the joy of transition.

The first thing that struck me about this record was how it seemed "lighter” than No Cities Left. Was this conscious or did it just happen this way? Lightburn: We didn’t have any intentions. This is just where we are right now. This album, and subsequently the band, is simply a take it or leave it kind of thing. The Dears, in my opinion, are a pretty loose bunch. We laugh a lot and are generally upbeat, despite the mounds and mounds of shit that has been shovelled in our face; a far cry from the misinterpreted morose image for which we are infamous.

There’s a delightful brevity to the album. Are you inclined to draw these songs out live, or are they meant to be the swift statements they are? It was a real challenge and utterly important for us to keep the songs snappy. Some people will undoubtedly mistake this for an attempt to get on the radio or whatever, which of course, is completely absurd. As far as how it’ll play out live, for now, the songs are babes and we’re still nursing them. Eventually, they will grow up and want to do their own thing and we’ll just be there to help them along. (MapleMusic)