Somewhere in the middle section of the third song on The Love Still Held Me Near, the eighth studio album from Toronto’s City And Colour, Dallas Green sings that 'we had everything we wanted but we fucked it up'. They 'had everything we needed but it wasn’t enough'. At which point, seemingly out of nowhere, a lead guitar solo snakes into the track with the devilish intent of electricity out on loose and looking for trouble. The mood is not as it once was; if the party isn’t over, certainly it’s turned sour.
Because if Alexisonfire, the group with which Dallas Green first made his name, are the sound of a vast army of people bonded together in unified joy, City And Colour, at least in this current iteration, are the sound of the inevitable and necessary clean-up operation after the show. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it. Inspired by the untimely deaths of a family member and a musical colleague and friend, The Love Still Held Me Near resonates with the timbre of a music-maker who has reached the point at which the impermanence of life becomes a permanent fixture. And while youth, it is so often said, is wasted on the young, the ominous toll of encroaching age suits Dallas Green well.