Dearly Beloved to release Make It Bleed
Zoë/Rounder Records is pleased to announce the U.S. debut release of Canadian rock outfit Dearly Beloved’s Make It Bleed on March 30, 2010. Make It Bleed, the band’s third album, speaks for itself in short, sharp bursts: with succinct verses and economical riffs. All of the tracks were recorded at the band’s home studio, Phoebe St.
Dearly Beloved began in 2006 when Rob Higgins, songwriter-musician-producer-radio host, and a couple of like-minded friends, pooled their talents. Originally an outlet for the negative energy stemming from his father’s passing, the music really started to blossom once Higgins began collaborating among others with deep roots in the Toronto rock community.
Artist: Dearly Beloved
Title: Make It Bleed
Release date: 03/30/10
Buy at: Amazon
Higgins recalls, “I didn’t just want to be in a band - the mission was to create something authentic. It wasn’t built for commercial avenues or to take over the world, just to be an honest extension of life. Musically, sonically, we were looking to create something that could last beyond the first listen.”
Dearly Beloved is Rob Higgins, Niva Chow and Gavin Maguire.
“The grit of old school punk, the guitars of the new rock revival and a touch of the Velvet Underground. A worthy addition to the indie scenester’s collection.” - Paul Budel, CHART
“Like a pack of junkies playing for their smack…hard-hitting, hook-heavy rock n’ roll.” - Lorraine Carpenter, EXCLAIM!
Dearly Beloved biography
Dearly Beloved isn’t here to provide you the easy answers to life’s hard questions, they are inviting you to join them on the journey, searching alongside. This is the difference between the cocksure swagger of inexperience and the assured posture of those who have already grasped that the universe doesn’t revolve around them. That’s not to suggest that Dearly Beloved bows and scrapes; they’re only too well versed in the value of the hip shake and the head fake. They know when to stick and when to move but they’re past anything to please and trying to prove.
Dearly Beloved came to being in 2006, when Rob Higgins, songwriter-musician-producer-radio host and a group of like-minded friends with deep roots in the Toronto indie-rock community pooled their talents to define their own space. Higgins recalls, “it started strictly as a place to put the energy from dealing with the situation with my dad and his passing. I didn't just want to be in a band; I needed a place to put the energy that I deal with and music is my medium of choice. The mission was to create something authentic. It wasn't built for commercial avenues or to take over the world, just to be an honest extension of life. Musically, sonically, we were looking to create something that could last beyond the first listen.”
With years of playing between them, having variously served in Change of Heart, Danko Jones, Tristan Psionic, Sticky Rice, By Divine Right, Rocket Science, Doctor and more, they quickly established their collective modus operandi, writing and recording with gusto. Higgins remembers the early days with great affection. “The first record sounds like a first record -the songs are all born out of jams and rehearsals. I'd bring a song and we'd all work it out as friends. My closest friends just happen to be really cool musicians and they happened to have enough time to help me. It suddenly became a band and we were left wondering 'now what do we do'. After that, someone wanted to put out a record and we had to find out what we had.” They put discovering what they had to the test with a three-month comprehensive cross-Canada tour. Because that’s the way they know to do it.
Recorded over 9 months in bits and pieces at various studios in Toronto, including Higgins’ own home studio, Phoebe St., You Are The Jaguar (June 2006) was embraced by critics and public alike for its lo-fi, hi-energy approach and its seemingly effortless dynamic of tension and release. Drawing on the thematic inspiration of South American spirituality, the sonic juxtapositions of biting guitars, catchy phraseology, “all on our team” philosophy, and girl-boy vocal interplay made for a magnetic mix. Being heralded among the next wave of buzz bands wasn’t foreign territory, and carried with it the blessing of doors standing open but also preconceptions waiting within. Thankfully, Dearly Beloved knows the difference between art and artifice. A band lacking authenticity is soon discarded; a band with a unique brand becomes the people’s champion.
As their momentum grew, so did the obstacles. In the middle of touring, Higgins was called away for surgery but returned to the road after recovery. The evidence of the band’s singularity of vision and dedication to serving their songs would bear out. Within months, the schedule of touring, video shoots, and recording new material was once again established. The resulting album, Repo REPO Repo (2008), was a declaration of positive intent –not syrupy; badass. The album was written, recorded and mixed in five consecutive weeks at Signal To Noise in Toronto and reflected a markedly different approach than record Jaguar. The band had become adept at living in and capturing the moment while on tour and embracing that gift and made for a fresh and spontaneous recording. Higgins remembers the experience as “an honest and courageous attempt on our part –it remains very much like a snapshot of the band at the time.”
But obstacles remained in a label and management situation that needed changed in order to continue. Admits Higgins, “We had Repo in the can but issues set the band back a year in terms of momentum … it was worth putting up with all the lawyer-ing in order to get on the right path.”
It’s a difficult arena, the industry of music in this day an age. Dearly Beloved remains undaunted. “I look at these times and feel liberated in the sense that not many people I hang out with are concerned with the models of what's marketable,” says Higgins in clear intention that business won’t come before art. “That’s what’s made them cool – of the artists I know, respect, and relate to – they don’t try to pander to ‘the industry,’ they just try to make it cool as shit. These times are actually good for music.”
Dearly Beloved speaks to the citizen of the modern metropolis, the fierce individual who nonetheless maintains a responsibility to themselves and their fellows. Dearly Beloved celebrates our glories and our flaws with equal enthusiasm. They’re not looking to exploit today’s zeitgeist: they want to explore tomorrow’s possibilities. While they may have closest kinship with the punk ethos, the Dearly Beloved philosophy contains little of the “smash the system” nihilism. They remain committed to building community through their art.
Higgins explains it frankly: “We're going to reach an audience by touring. We're a better band live than in the studio. Where I come from if you can't throw down live, then you can't throw down at all. We connect by touring our asses off and winning the people over 25, 50 at a time. We're a fun band to watch because we let it all hang out, we're not there to perform a recital - we're there to make people shake their asses and bang their heads. And if they can do that, they can hang out with us any day.”
In 2009, Dearly Beloved is a band infused with vigor and vitality, eager to strike the iron anew. Make It Bleed, their upcoming 2010 release speaks for itself in short, sharp bursts: with succinct verses and economical riffs. The new songs were all recorded at Phoebe St. which marks the first time Dearly Beloved hasn’t entered a ‘proper studio’. Having the luxury of time was a real benefit: the songs sound more confident and refined to Higgins, who credits having a little added perspective during the process as playing a big part of that. “We still live for the moment but we've gotten better at capturing it.”
‘Move On’ is a perfect example of this observation, says Higgins, reflecting on this definitive piece of the three albums he has produced. “It was tough to write because of the subject matter, but in terms of our sound I think we managed to tighten it up while loosening our collars a bit. It has all the elements of a Dearly Beloved song, sounds like the same bunch of sweaty pirates, but a bit older and a bit wiser, I hope.”
Make It Bleed doesn’t fill the space with baseboard-to-baseboard sonic shag; there’s room to maneuver and room to dance or to stand still or to make your own pace. The spaces between the notes are as defining as each outburst. They are a band for our time, theirs is a record for an audience hungry for something that isn’t prepackaged and co modified.
“I'm not done fighting the good fight. If I didn't do this, what would I do? I need it,” admits Higgins as he looks at how far Dearly Beloved has come and the road that lies before them. “We love spending time together because we're friends. We enjoy touring together and none of it feels like a drag to us. We've all done it so many times before that it could be drudgery, but as soon as we get home we want to go out together again. It's a necessary part of our lives and we have a genuine love for it and each other.” With that spirit, Dearly Beloved has already won.
"With a little bit of luck you get exactly what you want"
Make It Bleed Tracklisting
2. Move On
3. Ride To Hell
4. Candy Coated
5. When Slow Is The New Fast
7. Dress It Up
8. Make It Bleed
9. Fire Escape
10. Who Knows
11. The Butcher’s Dog
13. Move On-Cookie Duster Remix
"Make It Bleed" by Dearly Beloved - release date: 03/30/10..