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Afropunk has debuted new single “All the Hail Marys” from forthcoming LP Times Infinity Volume Two, writing “The Dears take their signature introspection and raw lyricism to new heights.” The track finds The Dears boldly exploring understated psychedelic soul.

Some background on the track from frontman Murray Lightburn: “The working title for the entire Times Infinity project was Hail Marys. The song ‘All The Hail Marys’ was a model for the sound of the whole project. I always wanted this to be the first thing anyone heard from The Dears in a long time. In the end, it was decided that it would be on Times Infinity Volume Two as we didn’t want to front load the project too much with what was selected for Volume One. This is easily one my fave D’s tracks of all time, maybe in the top ten.

“As usual, when I first heard the melody in my head, I was nowhere near an instrument. I could hear the beat, the bass line—this whole sort of Al Green vibe. Modern technology allowed me to verbalize all these ideas into a voice memo, like I was a one-man a cappella group featuring a human beatbox. It’s crude AF and sounds totally ridiculous but in those emergency situations when you know you have strong idea, it certainly does the job. Eventually, I made a demo and showed the tune to the band. They helped realize the vision without breaking it.

“In my mind, I always imagined Jimi Hendrix singing this and always will. The second half really reminds me of The Moody Blues’ ‘Nights in White Satin’; I wanted that sweeping effect but not in too retro a way. We employed synthesizers and recorded that three-part guitarmony blend, and with that galloping acoustic guitar it kinda turns into like Heart’s ‘Crazy On You,’ lol.

“There are so many tracks and ideas, and when I was at the mixing desk I was like, ‘F**k it, we’re The Dears, let’s cram them all in.’ That’s what we do. The track was finally ready to be printed but before, I found myself going, ‘Wait—something is not right.’ I went through it, adding one track at a time until is was clear that the lead vocal just wasn’t happening. So I dug up the first demo vocal and dropped that in instead. With a couple of tweaks, that’s what made the final version. This happens a lot on Dears records.

“Lyrically, I think we all feel a little hopeless at times and somewhat swallowed by the daily pressures of life. Something I started doing recently is asking myself, ‘What would 30-year-old Murray do?’ Then I’ll usually do the opposite, lol. The past helps me to reconcile the present and subsequently shape the future. It’s at this point I can let go of the past, which is absolutely paramount. When I feel like I’ve lost control of things, I focus on the only thing I know I can control: myself. It’s all too easy to forget that, especially in the modern world. With that idea embraced, I find it easier to engage others more deeply and meaningfully, and more importantly, who and what to avoid completely.

“Fun fact: I paraphrase/quote Peaches, whom I love, singing, ‘F**k the pain, f**k the pain, and the suffering, away…’ I meant to email her about it beforehand, but I’ve only ever met her once. I hold her in very high regard and basically got too shy, and couldn’t come up with the right words, if you can believe that.”

Times Infinity Volume Two is out July 14 in the U.S. via Dangerbird Records. The album is the second installment of a two-album project. Following a six-year hiatus, The Dears made their triumphant return in February 2015 with their much-lauded Times Infinity Volume One.The Dears’ Times Infinity Volume Two sees the completion of a body of work that founding members Lightburn and Yanchak recorded over a two-year period between Toronto’s Revolution Recording and Montreal’s Thee Mighty Hotel2Tango. Lightburn says of the final mix sessions for Volume Two: “At the hotel2tango, it had been a 20 hour day. I worked deliriously towards finishing Volume Two. In part, it was because I knew precisely how it was all supposed to fit together but mostly because there was another band’s session coming within just hours. It really recalled those overnight mixing sessions for No Cities Left, complete with a fresh-faced Howard (studio co-owner Bilerman) arriving in the morning, coffee in hand, asking, ‘How did it go?’ I still don’t really know. But I did my best.” Both Lightburn and Yanchak identify Volume Two—a record driven by an unmistakeable sense of unease—as the comparatively darker half of the Times Infinity series.

The Dears have majored in bristling honesty throughout their 25-year career, and Volume Two is no less candid, with the microscope turned on Lightburn and Yanchak themselves. Propelled by driving basslines, the fractious “Of Fisticuffs” doubles down on the propulsive agitation of Times Infinity’s first installment, typifying the universal, everyday tightrope of choosing which battles to fight. For Lightburn and Yanchak, married with a young family of their own, a sense of protecting what’s most important runs deep through Volume Two, though rendered with disarming tenderness.

The Dears emerged out of the early 2000s Canadian indie renaissance, cementing their orchestral pop-noir sound with celebrated debut album End of a Hollywood Bedtime Story in 2000. In 2001 and 2002, they released the EPs Orchestral Pop Noir Romantique and Protest, as well as a collection of unreleased songs, Nor the Dahlias. In 2003 they released their second full-length album, No Cities Left. Then a string of highly anticipated shows at SXSW 2004 launched their international career. Gang of Losers was released in 2006, was well received by the press, and shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize. A tumultuous transitory period followed. The Dears emerged, stolid, with another meticulously crafted classic, Missiles in 2008, and later 2011’s Degeneration Street.