Czars is a Denver-based combo led by John Grant, a vocalist that evokes the
haunting register of Mark Lanegan.
Their first album,
Before... But Longer (Bella Union, 2000), is a collection of
low-key bittersweet laments (notably Val) that paint a
private soundscape rooted in the collective American soundscape
in a manner reminiscent of the Cowboy Junkies
The Ugly People Vs The Beautiful People (Manifesto, 2001) evoked an
even more atmospheric Calexico, enhanced with the stately voice
of John Grant.
Drug, Lullaby 2000 and Autumn increased the doses of
psychological analysis, while most of the songs simply "bathed" in a
languor bordering on domestic trance.
Sorry I Made You Cry (Bella Union, 2006) is a collection of covers.
John Grant debuted solo with Queen Of Denmark (Bella Union, 2010),
a collection of erudite meditations in the vein of the songwriters of the
1970s. Impeccable, but a bit derivative and monotonous.