Dear Criminals are like that new kid on the block who moved in two houses down from yours. He’s your age and you challenge him to a game of one-on-one basketball to be, you know, neighborly, but he beats your ass 25-3.
Here’s the kicker, though: He invites you back to his place for cookies and cartoons after the game.
How do you respond? Do you accept this peace offering? Is your pride too great to forget your loss? Do you just not like cookies?
This dilemma is surprisingly relevant when looking for new bands to write about. You may find an awesome new act with a cool sound, but it can be hard to overcome the initial hesitation and judgement that comes from having so many musical options around in this modern age. You have to pick your battles all the time, but Dear Criminals are a battle I’d fight any day.
They hail from Montréal, and specialize in a whimsically dark brand of pop that makes heavy use of chilly synthesizers and guitars drenched in oceanic amounts of reverb. But that doesn’t do them justice; you could use those descriptors for 80% of alternative music today. There’s a unique male-female vocal dynamic and a focus on unconventionally catchy melodies that sets them apart from the pack. Their first EP, Weapons, debuted in late August, and “Lover’s Suicide” is my personal favorite.