Canadian rockers The Dears have seen many line-up changes in the 25 years since they first formed, but the constants at the centre are husband and wife duo Murray Lightburn and Natalia Yanchuk. Having enjoyed their biggest commercial success in the UK with 2006's Gang Of Losers, their 2011 album Degeneration Street made the biggest impact on their home turf. All that could change with their hugely anticipated eighth studio album Lovers Rock, which follows three years after Times Infinity Volume Two.
While their sound has changed greatly over the years, what is interesting about The Dears is that they are band who has evolved yet managed to maintain a path throughout their releases. Although they don't necessarily lean on prior releases sonically, they certainly boast a consistency to their compositions that can be traced back throughout their recordings.
Having previously drawn comparisons to Arcade Fire and Morrissey - the latter mostly centred around the vocal similarities that exist between Murray Lightburn and Morrissey - their latest release sees them really expand in to a melodramatic period that is pure cinematic heaven. While the record hasn't been written as a soundtrack to forthcoming feature film, it could quite easily have been.
Although the band may have previously described as dumb rock, Dear Lover shows that they are anything but. With intelligently relatable and thought provoking lyrics at the heart of their sound, Dear Lover marries soul, rock, 90s indies and folk pop into one huge mixing pop to cook up their most compelling release to date.
While former single, the psychedelic nostalgia of Heart of an Animal is a clear stand out moment, the contradictory dark/light of The Worst In Us and the acoustic folk meets soul explosion of Too Many Wrongs will also become regulars on your assorted playlists.
There is no denying that The Dears have always delivered quality, but sometimes they deliver that little bit more. Lovers Rock is a moment that stands alone and one that will be remembered as one of their finest.