As soon as I began to play The Dears’ new studio album, Times Infinity Volume Two, I was immediately met with the idea that this album would be relaxed and carefree. As soon as I heard ‘Taking It To The Grave’, I imagined that I was sitting in a café and watching a live band playing in the corner. However, I was unable to turn away, because the lines between indie rock and pop were blurred. This merging of genres within the album seemed unintentional and captivated me from the beginning, because it is something that is not heard so often. The merging voices of Murray Lightburn and Natalia Yanchak in ‘Taking It To The Grave’ create an innocent and almost angelic vibe – a proclamation of love for each other, and with particular reference to the title, eternal love.
Whilst still maintaining the tempo of a pop or indie soundtrack, ‘All The Hail Marys’ appears to have jazz undertones. In this song, it easy to understand how Murray Lightburn can be compared to Morrissey, as his vocals seem to ‘break free’, almost expressing himself directly to the listener.
The track ‘Nothing In It For Me Nothing In It For You’ struck me as a track that allowed Lightburn to tie himself to his lover, making it appear that the love was so strong they almost lived as one person. One specific aspect that stood out to me the most was the recurrent theme of death and its relation to love. Love is a powerful emotion, arguable the most powerful. As described by Lightburn, it is the ‘only thing’ he knows. The crafty songwriter has taken this overwhelming feeling and expressed through several songs in this album that he will love his partner forever. In tracks such as ‘Guns or Knives’, it appears that Lightburn wants to defend this love with these figurative weapons, as if he feels vulnerable. This, to me, is the more honest side of love – whilst it is a positive emotion, it can sometimes be fragile and vulnerable.
The descending chord progression in ‘Until Deathrow’ makes me believe that Lightburn wants to communicate instrumentally as well as lyrically. When chords in a song ascend, it inspires a more upbeat tone, increasing the excitement and intensity of the music. However, when they descend, I find that this creates a melancholic atmosphere. This not only manipulates your mood when listening to the song, but encourages you to pay closer attention to the lyrics, which in this case compliment the dark tone of the song.
Generally speaking, Times Infinity Volume Two is an album that I will be saving for future café trips, amusing myself as I imagine the duo executing these songs in the corner.
Times Infinity Volume Two’ (out July 14), is the concluding half of a 2 album project from the Canadians, following February’s critically applauded ‘Volume One’ release.
Words. Lina Forester. / Photo Credit. Richmond Lam