A Pill for Loneliness
After returning to his emo-folk roots with a solo acoustic tour (captured on the 2018 live set Guide Me Back Home), Dallas Green brings full-band strength to the first proper City and Colour LP since 2015’s If I Should Go Before You. And, as if to make up for the nearly half-decade gap between studio albums, he’s returned with some of the biggest-sounding music of his career. With A Pill for Loneliness, City and Colour send their rugged roots rock into the cosmos: The lone-wolf anthem “Astronaut” lives up to its interstellar promise with a Verve-like sway that slowly builds into a heady space-rock jam, while “Strangers” takes flight with an urgent motorik rhythm and mind-bending synth textures. But even as his sonic explorations lead him to uncharted territory, Green’s lyrical concerns remain down-to-earth, as he uses his eternally sweet voice to deliver sentiments about dysfunctional relationships and emotional isolation. “So many fucking pointless conversations about who’s right or wrong—you or me,” he sings wearily on “Me and the Moonlight,” seeking escape from his problems through the song’s Spiritualized-like haze. There may be no easy cure for heartache, but a little psychedelia helps soothe the soul.