The Dears to Tour in Support of Forthcoming Album ‘Degeneration Street’

Though it sure seems that way, probably not everyone in Montreal is a member of an indie rock band,  but it’s kind of fun to imagine an entire city of talented musicians, eh? Beloved residents, the Dears, have a new release due out February 15th, called Degeneration Street (Dangerbird Records) and a tour in support of the album.

The new album features the track, “Omega Dog,” which you can the brand new video for  here.


With Eulogies

March 4th            Sugar                                             Victoria, BC

March 5th            The Venue                                    Vancouver, BC

March 7th            Crocodile Café                             Seattle, WA

March 9th            Slim’s                                             San Francisco, CA

March 10th          The Troubadour                          Los Angeles, CA

March 17th          SXSW                                             Austin, TX

March 18th          Dangerbird Records Showcase            Austin, TX

March 19th          SXSW                                             Austin, TX

March 20th          SXSW                                             Austin, TX


Album Review: The Luyas – Too Beautiful To Work

The musicians in Montreal clearly have a deep-seeded need and desire to collaborate. Bands such as Arcade Fire, The Dears, and Broken Social Scene adopt a more-is-better policy when it comes to assembling their personnel. Because of the large infrastructure in many of these groups, musicians travel between the ensembles, like musical chess pieces, as their scheduling and tastes dictate. Another group to add to this list: The Luyas. The band formed in late 2006, releasing their debut album, Faker Death, in 2007. Although the number of members changed at various points in the group’s history, they have essentially consisted of: Jesse Stein [also of Miracle Fortress], Pietro Amato and Stefan Schneider [both of Bell Orchestre, Amato also having worked as a french horn player for Arcade Fire], and Mathieu Charbonneau. Add in Sarah Neufeld [violinist for Arcade Fire] and Owen Pallett [Final Fantasy and string arranger for Arcade Fire] to the current recording roster, and you have one amazing Canadian super-group on your hands.

On their Dead Oceans debut, Too Beautiful To Work, the band excels at crafting dreamy pop textures—using layers of organ, keyboards, horns, and mallet percussion on top of the standard foundation of guitars and drums. Jesse Stein contributes significantly to The Luyas singular sound by playing the Moodswinger—an experimental 12-string zither—as well as supplying her breathy vocals, calling to mind both Nina Persson and CocoRosie’s Casady sisters.

The opening title track plunges the listener right into The Luyas’ world: a short organ riff becomes the foundation for the song’s spiky rhythms, light drums, and Stein’s voice, which churn bubbly lyrics at you so quickly, it actually takes a couple listens to even decipher what the text is. [The track is so infectious and joyous that really, multiple listens would be mandatory anyway.] Stein is incredibly adept with her voice, working hand in hand with the drum set so well that she sounds like she is replicating yet another percussion instrument to add to the mix. “Worth Mentioning” places her even more in the forefront of the group, gently cooing “Trust me now, and keep in mind there are no ungraced thoughts” over throbbing guitars and organ. Stein might as well be singing right into the listener’s ear; the effect created is so intimate and hushed.

The Luyas move into a different direction on lead single “Tiny Head,” washing their entire sound in reverb. The guitars echo, the percussion trembles, and Stein’s Moodswinger finally comes into play. It’s an altogether different sound than you’ll ever hear, and as the vocals and zither dovetail in and out of each other’s phrases, you come to realize that this bizarre instrument is used as an extension of Stein’s voice and not another piece of accompaniment—the Moodswinger even taking center stage as the track gently fades into silence.

The second half of the album alternates between these two contrasting styles: “Canary,” “Spherical Mattress,” and “Seeing Things” submerging the band in their wash of reverb, while “Cold Canada,” “What Mercy Is,” and “I Need Mirrors” display their sense of intricate rhythm and catchy hooks. “I Need Mirrors” finds the band at their most playful and inventive, creating a modified-Bossa Nova rhythm as the foundation of the song, a tropical idea of a dance to enjoy even while your city is covered in snow and ice.

Even though the album began with the greatest sense of energy, by the end of Too Beautiful To Work, the group is seen at its warmest and most intimate on the closing track, “Seeing Things.” After a brief chorale employing a set of muted French horns, an oscillating figure in the guitar begins, and Stein and guest vocalist Pallett form an incredibly moving series of harmonies—never rushing any piece of the melody as the drums and horn try to interrupt their thoughts. Stein keeps the mood tranquil throughout, never allowing the group to attain the energy produced earlier in the album. Compared to the anthemic nature of their Canadian brethren, Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene, The Luyas overwhelmingly come across as atmospheric, intimate, and endearingly quirky—welcome qualities to display in a music scene already filled with a whole lot of pomp and circumstance.

The Dears At Work On New Album

Montreal rockers, The Dears, have made a name for themselves as a band that can move from electrifying pop, to full-on primal screams; grinding guitar solos, to a soulful baroque. With a musical hiatus since their 2008  album Missiles, The Dears look to announce a forthcoming album  Degeneration Street. The release date is set for February 15th, 2011 on Dangerbird Records.

Produced by Tony Hoffer (Phoenix, Belle and Sebastian),  Degeneration Street is said to be a “return to form” for frontman Murray Lightburn and company. The new material traces back to the band’s previous albums such as No Cities Left (2003) and Gang of Losers (2007).

Check out new song “Omega Dog” live in Mexico City:

NYC Weekly Show Roundup!

Cassette Kids, At Sea, Phone Home @ S.O.B.’s

Florence and the Machine, The Smith Westerns @ Terminal 5

Dum Dum Girls, Frankie Rose & The Outs @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

Shout Out Out Out Out, Free Blood @ (le) poisson rogue

Clinic, The Fresh & Onlys, Girls at Dawn @ Bowery Ballroom

Joemca, Bird Love, Recess Brooklyn @ Cake Shop

Ava Luna, Spanish Prisoners, Data Dog, Can’t Tell @ Glasslands

Florence and the Machine, The Smith Westerns @ Terminal 5

Black Mountain, The Black Angels @ Bowery Ballroom

Shout Out Out Out Out @ Glasslands

The Dears, Zeus @ Knitting Factory

Bettie Serveert, The Art of Shooting @ Maxwell’s

Shilpa Ray & Her Happy Hookers, Hooray for Earth, Zambri, Arpline @ Pianos

The Duke Spirit, The Rassle @ Santos Party House

The Fresh  & Onlys, Royal Baths, X-Ray Eyeballs @ Shea Stadium

Wolf Parade, Ogre You Asshole @ The Wellmont Theatre

Blonde Redhead, Pantha Du Prince @ Webster Hall

Matt Costa, Everest @ Bowery Ballroom

Shark?, Roo, Byrds of Paradise, Dinosaur Feathers @ Bruar Falls

Bob Mould, Lenny Kaye @ City Winery

The Dears, Himalaya @ Knitting Factory

The Black Angels, Black Mountain @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

The Script, Joshua Radin @ Terminal 5

Blonde Redhead, Pantha Du Prince @ Webster Hall

Bob Mould, Marshall Crenshaw @ Citery Winery

Freelance Whales, Miniature Tigers @ Maxwell’s

Matt Costa, Everest, Boy & Bear @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

The Script, Joshua Radin @ Terminal 5

The Dandy Warhols, Blue Giant @ The Bell House

Interpol, White Rabbits @ United Palace Theatre

Dawes, Vetiver, Peter Wolf Crier @ Webster Hall

The Dears Preparing A New Album

Montreal rockers The Dears have announced that they are set to release a new album this February, called Degeneration Street.

The album will be the group’s fifth full-length and will be out Feb. 15th on Dangerbird Records. The album sees the group returning to the orchestral pop/rock that made them loved nationally. You can catch the first single off the record, called “Omega Dog”, performed live in Mexico City right here.

The band will be performing Degeneration Street live in Brooklyn for two nights in November. The band is doing it to raise money for War Child International, an organization that helps children who have seen the horrors of war. If this seems like a good cause (it is) and The Dears seem like a great band (they are), check them out…

November 3rd and 4th The Knitting Factory Brooklyn, NY