Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s featured selection, chosen by Midday Show host Cheryl Waters, is “Disclaimer” by The Dears from the 2008 album Missiles on Dangerbird Records.
Montreal’s The Dears have been making beautiful music in some shape or form since 1995, though this year’s Missiles is only their fourth full length. Perhaps it’s the tepid music industry or the fact that sole originating member Murray Lightburn is also the sole songwriter of the band’s often complicated compositions, but surely The Dears’ well-publicized and frequent lineup changes have slowed the process. In fact, two thirds of the band departed during the recording of Missiles. Still, Lightburn along with other Dears mainstay and keyboardist (and wife) Natalia Yanchak continue to push the band forward, having enlisted a current roster of seven touring members, including Lisa Smith and Laura Wills from the band Pony Up. No matter what The Dears’ configuration, Murray Lightburn continually draws comparisons with Morrissey, whom The Dears even opened for back in 2004. Unfair or not, there are certainly worse comparisons to draw, and the band’s dark orchestral arrangements are enough to set them apart. The opening track, the nearly 7-minute “Disclaimer,” sets the cinematic tone of the new album and even features Lightburn’s own father playing some Caribbean tinged saxophone in the lengthy opening segment. But it’s the song’s repeated phrase “come back” that is most telling — it’s less a plea than a statement of the band’s perseverance.
The Dears are playing tonight in Vancouver and back in Montreal on New Years Eve. Check the band’s MySpace page and website for more information. Here’s the video for “Money Babies,” also from the new album: