‘A lyrical masterclass all transported from the mind of an enigmatic dreamer’
Mark McConville
18:34 29th September 2019

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Striking and poignant, Dallas Green delivers yet another record of melodies and harmonies. Under the name City And Colour, the Alexisonfire vocalist and guitarist peppers the musical landscape, conveying through these songs of purpose a story of hardship and pain. 

This isn’t Green’s first outing as the lyrical magician of his own musical venture City And Colour. The Canadian musician, has demonstrated across six records that he’s more than equipped for the storm. It may be a toned down sound compared to Alexisonfire’s brooding, abrasive, style, but there’s much to like about the subtlety. A soft core is evident throughout A Pill For Loneliness, the latest LP from Green’s box of tricks. 

The composition is creative, and Green sings freely. He seems to be a wounded soul, supplying us emotive songs that don’t have the surge of power, but the elegance of a kissing couple. This isn’t taking anything away from the beauty of the album, as it is truly a tour de force, bridging the gap between generic and mesmerising. It may be an audacious claim to say such things, but A Pill For Loneliness is a lyrical masterclass, all transported from the mind of an enigmatic dreamer. 

Dreaming is fundamental to keeping the generator on in a mind beautifully sophisticated. And Green has been blessed and his mind is a hub we may not want to look in if we had the chance. To say such things might damage the mood, but he’s clearly looking for redemption here, trying to conquer despair in full beam. 

Hurt aside, the musicianship is tight. The instrumentals are composed well, contributing crucially to Green’s seasoned vocals. From the onset, they’re immersive. If you listen on you’ll tap your feet, and you’ll become easily involved in a blissful notion of losing yourself. 

‘Living In Lighting’ opens the record. Drums pound through and Green sings with authority. The trademark back beat is there, the lyrical touch is glowing. Green is marred by the demoralising feeling of not making it or not meeting the expectations which people have placed upon him. ‘Imagination’ is a louder track. The drums don’t impose, but add an infectious groove. Green’s vocals are pristine. The guitars aren’t frantic but deeply ingrained in the drama of this anthem. 

‘Mountain Of Madness’ belts away the cobwebs. Green chants about misunderstandings and why the world is destined for malfunction. The streets are on fire and the battle-hard mentality is wearing off. The drumbeat behind the strong guitar presence is startling. ‘Strangers' has rhythm - it’s a livelier track, exhibiting that subtlety can be worked upon and Green’s voice is on full throttle here. 

A Pill For Loneliness isn’t a drastic change for City And Colour, but what it does do is showcase sincerity and melancholy. Dallas Green is a brilliant musician, and within his mind is a flourishing dome of ideas. 

A Pill For Loneliness is released on 4 October 2019 via Still Records.

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