This week we once again head north of the border for Canada’s City and Colour as they release their fifth studio album If I Should Go Before You. Dallas Green wanted to release his music but felt uncomfortable using his own name, so City and Colour (Dallas Green, get it?) was born. Green has been quoted as saying the best music for him is sad music, but this album doesn’t feel necessarily sad so much as moody. The nine-plus minute opening track, Woman, sets the album’s mood with its ethereal vocals, ominous keyboards, and clean & wah guitar layers. In fact, they make great use of layering the guitars throughout the entirety of the album.
This album reminds me of driving on a gravel road running alongside a barbed-wire fence that’s struggling to contain a thick timbered area. At dusk on a gray December day, you can’t be certain whether the fence exists to keep you out of the woods or something much more sinister in. You hope, upon reaching home, a roaring fire can chase away the chill in your bones from the onset of night. Or banish whatever was attached to those gleaming eyes staring back at you from behind the trees.