Afropunk has debuted The Dears’ new single “All the Hail Marys” from new 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.”