Canadian indie rock band founded in 1995 in Montreal, Quebec. Members: Roberto Arquilla (Bass) Patrick Krief (Guitar) Murray Lightburn (Lead Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards) Natalia Yanchak (Keyboards, Backing Vocals) Former members : Richard MacDonald (1995-1998) John Tod (1995-2000) Andrew White (1995-1998) Brigitte Mayes (1999-2002) Jonathan Cohen (1999-2002) Rob Benvie (2002-2003) George Donoso III (Drums) Valérie Jodoin-Keaton (Keyboards, Backing Vocals) Martin Pelland (Bass)
The Dears, a loose collective of Montreal-area musicians formed in 1995, are led by the charismatic Murray Lightburn. Citing Serge Gainsbourg as a major influence, the band combines cabaret-style vocals with a moody, intense brand of orchestral pop/rock. Lightburn's vision for the band is to create music out of real emotions, often giving his performances the feel of a musical therapy session. Given the level of intensity that this vision can require, it's not surprising that The Dears have endured numerous member defections, including a guitarist, drummer, and two bass players. The Dears released their debut CD, End of a Hollywood Bedtime Story, on Grenadine Records in 2000. In early 2001, the band entered the studio to record the follow-up, tentatively titled Deuxième Partie, and in 2004, the critically acclaimed full-length No Cities Left was released. Lightburn and longtime Dears keyboardist Natalia Yanchak were married the following year, and in 2006 the band released the stripped-down Gang of Losers. Missiles arrived in 2008, followed by the group's fifth studio album, Degeneration Street, in 2011.