Dallas Green is back with his sixth City and Colour album, A Pill For Loneliness, and it’s another belter from the Canadian singer-songwriter. All the usual City and Colour suspects are here – poignant and moving lyrics, a brooding, subtle soundtrack, and, of course, Green’s stunning seasoned vocals. In A Pill For Loneliness, there’s a hint of dream-pop too, with an electronic tinge that makes things even more ethereal than usual.
“I wrote a lot of dark songs and wrapped them in the most beautiful sounds we could find,” Green says of the album. “There are personal connotations, but they’re also relatable. I’m thankful for the opportunity to create.”
Strained relationships, restlessness, and a surprising amount of hope build up the tracks, with an often melancholic sound at delicious odds with optimistic lyrics. Urgent and thoughtful, long time fans will lap this up, but there’s such a thing as too many ideas, and A Pill For Loneliness occasionally drifts a little close to this experimental line. It’s something that might make the LP a little inaccessible for newcomers, with a collection of songs that – while all beautiful – don’t always sit well together.
Standouts include recent single “Astronaut”, a poetic musing on the difficult balance between being a touring artist and spending time at home, and the quintessentially City and Colour sounds of “Living in Lightning”, featuring some truly heavenly vocals. “Song of Unrest” is another lyrical linger-er, opening with the lines “Have I lost my touch? I want to feel less fear. Where is the stirring of hope once I held so near?”.
Ultimately, it’s more of the same from the Alexisonfire singer, but when it comes to Dallas Green and City and Colour, that’s never going to be a bad thing. With a shift towards the experimental, it makes for ethereal, if not always easy, listening, and it’s all, as always, held together by powerful songwriting and heartwrenching vocals.
FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)