Colder Streams was supposed to mark a creative rebirth for The Sadies. Their first record in five years, and 11th overall, it sees the Toronto country-psych veterans commune with producer Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire—a member of Canada’s most popular indie-rock band lending his golden touch to one of its most unsung. With the record completed in 2021, its arrival would be perfectly timed to herald the return of the country’s most dogged road warriors after two years of pandemic purgatory. Sadly, Colder Streams now functions as a eulogy, following the sudden passing of singer/guitarist/producer Dallas Good in February 2022 from a coronary illness. Indeed, it’s difficult to hear him sing uncannily death-themed shanties like “More Alone” (“It hurts me to think about what could’ve been/And everything that won’t ever be”) without considering the album’s tragic postscript. But such heavy emotions are counteracted by the sheer vibrancy of these recordings. Parry applies equal amounts of sparkle and spit to songs like “Stop and Start” and “No One’s Listening,” which elevate The Sadies’ familiar dust-bowled spin on The Byrds, Love, and early Floyd to disorienting new heights. And while Colder Streams is certainly the most lustrous Sadies record to date, it soundly reasserts the band’s ability to raze roadhouses from coast to coast with cow-punk knockouts like “Better Yet” and “Ginger Moon.” Even if you can’t help but get teary-eyed at the closing spaghetti-western symphony, “End Credits,” rest assured that the curtains aren’t closing on The Sadies just yet: Weeks before this album’s July 2022 release, surviving members Travis Good, Sean Dean, and Mike Belitsky were back on the road. Colder Streams may mark the end of a long, storied chapter in Sadies history, but the legend continues.