The hint of a country twang throughout the album, in particular on Runaway and Friends is fitting, given that the album was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee – the place itself a metonym for the country music industry.
He recorded the album with his current touring band and believes that they managed to capture a solid representation of their live show. The band consists of Jack Lawrence (the other Jack in ‘The Raconteurs’ and of ‘Dead Weather’), Dante Schwebel (‘Spanish Gold’ and ‘Dan Auerbach’), Doug MacGregor (‘Constantines’) and Matt Kelly. Green produced it himself with assistance and engineering by Karl “Horse” Bareham and obviously hasn’t forgotten his roots or his aforementioned mates and offered this quote regarding the album:
“Over the last two years I've had the great pleasure of touring with an unbelievable group of musicians, who I can now safely call some of my best friends. If I Should Go Before You is the record I made with those friends. It's not "exclusive" to anyone - Not to Tidal or Apple Music or Spotify or Rdio or anywhere in particular - but you can find it in all those places. It’s a collection of 11 songs - the thoughts I had on my mind: a last ditch effort to find something better and leave well enough alone. You can steal it, stream it or even buy it! Just try to enjoy it. I know I do.”
These songs are lyrically very profound and at times get quite dark and melancholy. They seem to collectively cover heavy content including: lost love, death, varied conceptions of time & its passing, his contemplation of self-worth, life reflection and some questioning as to what the future will hold for him/others. The tone of the subject matter is evident in this lyric lifted from title track If I Should Go Before You:
“If you should cross the white light and find yourself in the black, I’ll be right there behind you, you will have no need to look back. And when the night cries itself awake, dying in the light of day; our endless love will remain, until we meet again.”
Yeah. Deeeeeeep stuff.
If I Should Go Before You is the fifth album by City And Colour and in the off chance this is your first Dallas Green experience, don’t freak out like this guy:
Just be sure to go back through his extensive catalogue. This includes some colourful algebra with his project ‘You + Me’, which is greater than or equal to ‘Green’ + ‘Pink’ (Yes it's a collaboration with P!NK née Alecia Moore!) Also if you’re in the mood for some heavy Green - not kush, still talking music here - then he has this small project called ‘Alexisonfire’ that you can introduce to your friends and they totally won’t laugh at you for thinking it is new.*
*Disclaimer: They probably will.