Bands We Like: City & Colour

By Zachary Swickey

I was more than a bit surprised when I heard Dallas Green’s subdued, piano-driven cover of his own post-hardcore outfit Alexisonfire’s “Happiness by the Kilowatt.” Despite my affinity for the band (and all things loud at the time), I much preferred Green’s melancholic rendition, which was undeniably moving. It’s not the most common thing to see a tattooed punk rocker bearing his soul with an acoustic guitar, but the toned down sensibilities of Green’s alter-ego, City & Colour, harkens back to the singer-songwriter days of Bob Dylan.

Dallas Green had been the guitarist and back-up vocalist of post-hardcore act Alexisonfire since 2001 but needed a creative outlet for the acoustic fare he’d been writing on the side since the young age of 14. Green soon began releasing a few songs for download online under the moniker City & Colour (the letter “u” gets a lot more use in Canada), which is a playful spin off his own name (Dallas is a city, Green is a color, get it?) as the singer found using his name a bit indulgent.

After compiling enough songs for a proper album, Green released his debut, Sometimes, in November 2005 to critical acclaim – garnering the Juno Award (the Canadian equivalent to a Grammy) for Alternative Album of the Year. The album beautifully showcased Green’s songwriting abilities with its two singles – “Save Your Scissors” and “Comin’ Home” – as both paint vivid imagery in your mind through Green’s storytelling.

Without time for rest, Green hauled back to Alexisonfire to record their third studio album, Crisis, which was released in August 2006. Known for being vagabonds with a relentless touring schedule, the group found themselves on the road for the majority of 2007 before Green was able work on City & Colour once again.

Embedded from