City and Colour Gives Thanks for Gradual Evolution With 'Honest' New LP

Photo by Dustin Rabin

Photo by Dustin Rabin

It’s not that City and Colour leader Dallas Green is any less busy since his other band broke up, but the singer and songwriter behind the Canadian folk-rock act has certainly sharpened his focus. Green had released three albums as City and Colour while also recording and touring with post-hardcore band Alexisonfire, which called it quits when Green decided to leave in 2011. His new album, “The Hurry and the Harm” (Dine Alone), is his first since Alexisonfire dissolved.

“It almost felt like the closure of that situation opened up this whole new realm of songwriting for me,” Dallas tells Listen, Dammit. “If you listen to this record, I think it’s different from my previous records, though it’s still me in there. I think what it did, though, was allow me to concentrate on just one thing, instead of trying to decide what songs went where.”

Before leaving for a City and Colour tour that stops Friday, Sept. 13, at the Calvin Theatre in Northampton, Green offered up three additional facts about the band and “The Hurry and the Harm.”

1. Honesty is important. Green says in press notes for “The Hurry and the Harm” that he wanted to make an “honest” record. “I think I say that before every record, and what I feel I mean by that is that I just want it to sound real, I guess,” he says. “When I sing and play my guitar, I want it to sound like a human being is doing so, because I just so happen to be a human being. With the style of music I’m playing, I just want it to sound honest. Like some other people, I think I’ve had enough of the dredges of AutoTune and Pro Tools and all that.”

2. Every word counts. “I tend to pine over the lyrics for very long periods of time,” Green says. “I’m not a bulk writer by any means. I don’t have a journal full of words I pick from. If I can get one line a week or two, I’m on a very good pace. It’s frustrating sometimes, because I’ll sit there for an entire day with a melody and a chord progression looking for words, and they just don’t show up.” Not that he’s complaining, mind you. “I could probably write a song every day like Paul McCartney, or write a song about a table or a tree outside, but I don’t think they’d be very good songs.”

3. Gradual can be good. “I think about the evolution of City and Colour and for lack of a better word, how organically it’s happened,” Green says. “I’m really glad I didn’t have the time to focus on it, and just let it happen the way it did. I think that has a lot to do with how people have taken to it — I didn’t force it down their throats.”

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