Arts & Entertainment

Green struggles with demons in Little Hell

 | September 30, 2011

City and Colour’s new album Little Hell combines the eerie, the sorrowful and hopeful in his best album to date.

Little Hell is a daring leap into vulnerable songwriting and Dallas Green, the well-known member of Canadian post-hardcore band Alexisonfire, has come out triumphant. The album describes many of the “little hells” that we go through day by day, from night terrors to family issues.

This album sounds a lot more polished than the previous Sometimes and Bring Me Your Love and Alexisonfire fans will be happy to hear some heavier, bluesy—and even a touch country—sounds on Little Hell. At 30 years old, Green has finally written some cliché-free songs that really dig deep. Perhaps this album was written as self-therapy.

Arguably the best track on Little Hell is “O’ Sister”, a story about Green’s sister’s decline into mental illness and his inability to help her, “My sister/What made you fall from grace?/I’m sorry that I was not there to catch you”. Vocally this is probably the best sounding track as well, with Green’s unmistakable voice soaring above his great acoustic guitar work.

“Fragile Bird” is a song about his wife Leah Miller’s struggle with night terrors. Miller is a former VJ for MuchMusic and current host of So You Think You Can Dance Canada.

The stark contrast between the heaviness of Alexisonfire and City and Colour shows Green’s versatility and offers an alternate light for this talented Canadian musician. Alexisonfire fans will love “Weightless”, while those who fell for his last two albums will love “Silver and Gold”. Regardless of your track choice this album is a huge step up from the last two and will likely offer solace to many of those struggling with similar issues. As Green sings on “Hope For Now”, “What if I could sing just one song and it might save somebody’s life?” Good on him.