Chris Carrabba is being told “it’s about time” a lot these days.
Dashboard Confessional, the band he started nearly 20 years ago in Florida, recently released “Crossroad Shadows,” its first new album in eight years and the first since it emerged from a four-year hiatus in 2015. It’s the group’s seventh overall and joins a legacy that includes three gold-certified predecessors and hits such as “Vindicated,” “Hands Down” and “Rapid Hope Loss.”
From the charged opener “We Fight” to more personal fare such as “Heart Beat Here” and “Belong,” “Crossroad Shadows” sounds like vintage Dashboard -- passionate and introspective, realistic but never losing a sense of optimism.
• Carrabba, 42, says by phone that having the new album out “feels really, really good -- vibrant, I guess, would be the right word. And singing it for people, the frankly surprising thing is the audience is singing along to these songs with the same kind of conviction they have for the songs they’ve been living with for a long time. I didn’t expect that, to be honest. I’ve learned by now not to expect it -- hope for it, but don’t expect it.”
• Carrabba did release an EP, “Covered and Taped,” during 2017. But he learned during the process of making “Crossroad Shadows” to be patient with his creative process and not panic over the time it was taking. “I was nervous about it at first,” he acknowledges. “There were false starts; Even the ones that were good I thought, ‘Oh, jeez, don’t try to do that again tomorrow’ because I’d be real disappointed if it was a head fake. I just wanted to have a body of work I was proud of, that encompassed a lot of territory and style of songs along the emotional spectrum, and I thought it would be foolish to put out something if I didn’t have that feeling of ‘I have no choice; I MUST write these songs. They MUST be recorded and released...’”
• Though it was written about “how it felt to be on the outside,” the single “We Fight” has become something of a protest anthem and has been embraced by students at Stoneman Douglas High School near where Carrabba grew up. “My high school girlfriend went to Douglas,” Carrabba says. “Two or three of my friends work there as teachers, one as a counselor, and I have a friend who list a daughter there. You just don’t know what a song is going to be. I thought I was writing about one specific thing, and it immediately became about something else as soon as it got out of my hands. That’s what a song’s supposed to do. And I’m honored; I am hugely impressed with these kids, these children, that are setting out to do the work of adults and change the world.”
If You Go:
• Dashboard Confessional and Beach Slang
• Thursday, April 5. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
• Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit.
• Tickets are $29-$45.
• Call 313-961-8137 or visit saintandrewsdetroit.com.
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