The Love Still Held Me Near is the highly anticipated new album from City and Color. Still Records is City and Color’s own label and a label of Dine Alone Records, home to the likes of Amber Run, Lucius, the Tokyo Police club and many more.
Following her 2019 album A Pill For Loneliness, which debuted at No. 1 on the Canadian Billboard charts, her fourth consecutive chart-topping album, this new offering could easily become her fifth. City and Color is the nickname of singer-songwriter Dallas Green, with The Love Still Held Me Near marking his seventh studio album under this pseudonym. Green is also the lead singer of the post-hardcore group Alexison Fire, as well as You+Me, a joint venture with pop royalty Pink!.
Opening with the lead single Meant To Be, with its warm guitars and goosebumps-inducing vocals, we tackle the first poignant theme of the album, the loss of a loved one and how that can affect your faith. Green explains’The Love Still Held Me Near was born out of unimaginable loss and the subsequent journey through pain and heartbreak that followed. It’s about going deep within yourself and trying to unearth hope and light in the things that can comfort you in those moments. For me that’s always been recording, writing and recording music, so that’s exactly what I did.’
Track 2 of the album Underground (also single two) is the standout track that has garnered the most attention from fans out of the three singles released before the album, currently ranked second on her most popular Spotify behind her beloved single The Girl. released in 2008. With gorgeous counter-melodies and a stripped down chorus that takes the air out of the room, Underground prepares us to buckle up for another 10 riveting tracks.
The Love Still Held Me Near was produced by Dallas Green along with band member and close friend Matt Kelly. Mixed by long-time collaborator and three-time Grammy Award winner Jacquire King (Kings of Leon, Norah Jones, Shania Twain and others), the album features Green’s voice stronger than on previous albums, resting on a combination of instruments acoustic and electric. in an overwhelming construction, while he feels palpable and allows us to hear the fingers on the strings and the necks of the guitars.
The sonically expansive twelve tracks explore the tragedy and grief in Green’s life since the loss of two close members of his personal circle. From the stripped-down keys and vocals of Things We Choose to Care About, to the howling vocals and scratchy guitars of The Water is Coming, the album explores the process of these struggles and how we overcome them, in order to (as aptly) track named closure is titled) Begin Again.
Green explains, “Something I’ve found after two decades of doing this is that I’m empowered by working with new people and creating our own versions of old songs. We had a great time in the studio making this record, so even though it’s going to be hard to live through the pain ( of the songs) again, I can’t wait to finally play with everyone”.City and Color have announced a US tour, and until we get some UK dates, we can enjoy The Love Still Held Me Near on multiple vinyl formats, including a UK exclusive ‘Gold inside Milky Clear Vinyl’. Kingdom available from Banquet Records.
words for Tamara Grzegorzek