The Dears were an upstart Canadian indie-rock band when they filmed a DIY video for their song “End of a Hollywood Bedtime Story” back in 2000. The clip trailed frontman Murray Lightburn as he strolled through the nighttime streets of Montreal with a video camera strapped to his torso. Lightburn’s band has come a long way in those eleven years: in 2006, they released their breakthrough orchestral-pop epic Gang of Losers, earned breathless praise from the British press for their cinematic, Smiths-style sound, and even earned approval from the “Pope of Mope” himself, Morrissey.
For the group’s gorgeous new album Degeneration Street, which features everything from Elvis Costello-style rockers (“Yesteryear”) to soaring, atmospheric instrumentals (“Torches”), the band are going back to their roots on the video for the haunting single “Omega Dog,” which you can watch below. The video is a very literal interpretation of their first clip – right down to Lightburn’s recreation of his original wardrobe of buttoned-up coat, white scarf, and newsboy cap. Lightburn appears to not have aged one day since filming the original. “You know what they say: ‘Black don’t crack,'” he jokes.
In a time when high-budget videos for indie-rock acts are on the wane, Lightburn says he was comfortable doing a more homespun clip. “I always find that our best videos cost next to nothing,” he says, adding that “Omega Dog” had a lower budget than the $600 allotted for “Hollywood Bedtime Story.” “We’ve never liked our bigger-budget ones. When you don’t have limitations, it fucks it all up.”
The Dears are hitting the road in March for a U.S. tour (check out dates below; more will be announced shortly), and while the band will perform many of their songs on the new record, Lightburn says their gigs will be a career-spanning party. “Having gone through everything we’ve gone thru and still standing, we’re better than we’ve ever been,” he says, referring to the group’s numerous line-up changes. “We’re going to pull out deep cuts and classics – it’s a celebration, really.”
WATCH: The Dears, “Omega Dog”
The Dears March Tour
3/4, Victoria, BC (Sugar)
3/5, Vancouver, BC (The Venue)
3/7, Seattle, WA (Crocodile Cafe)
3/9, San Francisco, CA (Slim’s)
3/10, Los Angeles, CA (The Troubadour)
3/17, Austin, TX (SXSW)
3/18, Austin, TX (Dangerbird Records Showcase at SXSW)
3/19, Austin, TX (SXSW)
3/20, Austin, TX (SXSW)