Thursday, October 9th, 2008
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“There’s a new album from The New Year” is all the review that longtime fans need. Those less familiar with the works of the brothers Kadane may need a little more to go on. They began as Bedhead, a mid-90s Texan band known for their slow, languid songs built on a nest of intricately intertwined and unfailingly melodic guitar lines, and when that outfit dissolved in 1999 the principals went on to start a new band – The New Year – who quickly became known for their slow, languid songs built on a nest of intricately intertwined and unfailingly melodic guitar lines. And for also stepping up the tempo just a bit and working some piano into things as well.
Their third album under the New Year brand is a self-titled affair and contains another batch of songs that, much like the band’s career path, takes its own slow, sweet time getting where its going but makes the trip there so relaxing, you wouldn’t mind if it took forever. In the past, each successive record has seen Bedhead and The New Year push the boundaries of what defined their sound by shifting tempos or incorporating a new sound or two but most always favouring evolution over revolution. And while that’s not fundamentally changed with The New Year, it does seem to find them in a more exploratory mood than you might have expected. There’s a definite spring in their step and they sound almost anthemic at points. There’d have been no complaints from this end if they’d done the expected and kept things low-key, but this more sprightly New Year? This works too.
Though Matt and Bubba Kadane’s visit in July – which I believe was their first time in Toronto at least this century if not longer – was special in its own way (hit up Bradley’s Almanac for audio of their show in Boston on the same tour), the arrival of The New Year as a complete band at Lee’s Palace next Wednesday night, with Angela Desveaux as support, is going to be something special in every way. Matt Kadane talks to The Los Angeles Times about their secret connection to the Dixie Chicks, to The Colorado Springs Independent about the flexibility of the “-core” suffix and to Stereogum about his day job as a college history professor.
Video: Wye Oak – “Please Concrete”
Rachael Yamagata gives Paste a guide to Chicago for dating and breaking up. She also talks to The Kansas City Star about the delay behind her new double-album, Elephants … Teeth Sinking Into Heart. The album is finally out and streaming at Spinner and there’s also a couple videos.
Also currently streaming at Spinner is one of the new albums from Margot & The Nuclear So And Sos, the band-approved Animal!. The Arizona Daily Star reports on the unique arrangement between the band and their label that yielded it and the companion Not Animal, and also reviews the pair.