THE DEARS – New Album ‘Lovers Rock’ Out Now – Share Video For “Instant Nightmare!”

May 17, 2020




Montréal quintet THE DEARS, led by husband & wife duo Murray Lightburn and Natalia Yanchak, released their latest grand opus Lovers Rock out now via Dangerbird Records. In addition to the album, they shared the video for their track “Instant Nightmare!”

“This is a super fun one, a heavy, trudging beast with strings and restrained vocals,“ says Yanchak, who handles lead vocals on “Instant Nightmare!” “Like the song is the Hulk and I’m Black Widow holding his hand saying: Take it easy, big guy.”

The video, co-directed by Alexandre Pelletier, combines animation with footage of Natalia and Murray, a blend of mediums that presented a logistical challenge during the COVID-19 shutdown. “Normally I loathe making music videos that involve us having to be there,” Lightburn says. “Despite the circumstances of this shoot I was way into this because as a hobby photographer, I got to spend most of my time as the default cameraman. Natalia sings this one, which is a relief for me. I learned so much from working with Natan (DOP) and Alex (director). I’m grateful for their patience with me trying to be their remote eyes and hands. Hopefully I did a good enough job that maybe they’ll hire me for a gig on another shoot one day.”

Yanchak adds, “We were originally scheduled to shoot the day when we all had to go into lockdown. We basically didn’t talk about the production for a week because nobody knew what lockdown meant. Then we discussed doing the shoot remotely, which initially I was not into. I’m not very skilled at putting on makeup, let alone makeup for the big screen. I was feeling incredibly self-conscious, and I deferred to a ‘let’s see how long this lockdown thing lasts.’ Several weeks later, it was apparent that we wouldn’t be getting a crew together in a studio anytime soon, so I had a one-on-one Google Meet tutorial with the makeup artist. She delivered a makeup kit to our house. I followed all the steps and made something happen. In the end, the majority of my apprehension was absurd—since the video would be a high-contrast animation of my face and nary a wrinkle or uneven skin-tone would be visible.”

“I was a fan of The Dears long before collaborating with them,” states Pelletier. “I cold emailed them about a year ago, hoping to make a music video for them at some point. And here we are. Although we shot the video during the COVID-19 crisis, the concept was already green-lighted way before the pandemic started. Animation and other post-production efforts are still manageable in this current situation, so we kind of lucked out picking an animation focused concept. Part of the animation is based on rotoscoping, so we initially planned a studio shoot to create reference footage. Luckily, we were able to adapt and shoot this remotely, all thanks to Murray’s technical savviness and cinematographer Natan B. Foisy’s magic through FaceTime (thanks bud). In post-production, co-director and animator Vince Hurtu was able to create something amazing out of that footage. The video features an animated version of Natalia and Murray performing the track. Sparsely punctuated by lyrics and vivid imagery, it echoes the song’s grim and somber themes and eerily reflects the situation we’re all going through.”

On Lovers Rock, Lightburn (vocals, guitar, “other”) and Yanchak (vocals, piano) are joined by longtime drummer Jeff “Looch” Luciani, who’s been in the fold since 2011’s Degeneration Street, and two holdovers from Lightburn’s solo record, Steve Raegele (guitar) and Rémi-Jean LeBlanc (bass). There’s also a string section, a cameo from fellow Montrealer Sam Roberts (who was also on No Cities Left), and saxophone from both Canadian Alex Francoeur and the E Street Band’s Jake Clemons (on the rattling “Stille Lost”).

Tour Dates:

11/19 – Cambridge, UK @ Portland Arms

11/21 – Glasgow, UK @ Drygate Theatre

11/22 – Manchester, UK @ Deaf Institute

11/23 – Bristol, UK @ Exchange

11/24 – London, UK @ The Garage

11/25 – Cardiff, UK @ Clwb Ifor Bach 

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