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The Dears

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 Dears’
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.

The Dears spent 2014 working on a new, two-volume album at Toronto’s
Revolution Recording and Thee Mighty Hotel2Tango in Montreal, to be
announced summer 2015.

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