Monday, July 20th, 2009
Not One, But Two
Review of Now, Now Every Children's Cars
Melissa HesseSeeing as how Minneapolis’ Now, Now Every Children is just a two-piece, trying to distill the appeal of their debut Cars down to even simpler components might seem like folly but it’s not only possible, it’s easy – it’s Cacie Dalager’s voice. Sure, you could say that the lead singer’s voice is the most obvious make or break thing for any pop band, but for NNEC, it’s much more than that.
It’s not an especially powerful instrument, at least as far as strength and range goes, but it does seem to reside in that magical frequency where innocence, experience, hope and cynicism intersect – her timbre and phrasing managing to evoke all of the above at various points throughout the record, often simultaneously. It has a natural sleepy sweetness but when used to deliver sentiments of feisty defiance as it does on Cars, it’s a potent combination.
But even for all the praise I lay at the base of Dalager’s throat, it does not stand alone. That would be gross. Now, Now Every Children’s musical accouterments are not many, but they are well-chosen and effective. All the sounds on Cars were created by Dalager and co-conspirator Bradley Hale – chugging electric guitar, friendly synth lines and organ drones courtesy of the former and clattering percussion from the latter, all placed exactly so to give the songs heft whilst keeping them lean. It’s a real accomplishment that Cars sounds so vibrantly live off the floor, considering its decidedly studio origins, and also how it melds hummable, sing-songy melodies with a raw sonic attack. It’s certainly not a new idea, but Now, Now Every Children do it in a way that sounds fresh, even to jaded ears.
Now, Now Every Children are currently on the road and will be in Toronto on August 2 for a date at the El Mocambo. Locals who aren’t out of town getting their Simcoe Day on are heartily encouraged to attend. There’s interviews with the band at Decider and Interview.
MP3: Now, Now Every Children – “Everyone You Know”
MP3: Now, Now Every Children – “Sleep Through Summer”
MP3: Now, Now Every Children – “Cars”
Video: Now, Now Every Children – “Friends With My Sister”
Also on that tour (and thus at the El Mo on August 2) is another duo from the midwest, Cincinnati’s Bad Veins. They’re releasing their debut self-titled album tomorrow and are the subject of a feature at Filter and a session at Ardent Sessions. The album is also streaming at Spinner.
PitchforkTV is streaming a Yeah Yeah Yeahs featurette for one week only – well, the rest of this week anyways. It was originally released as a teaser for this year’s release of It’s Blitz!. Yeah Yeah Yeahs are playing two shows at the Kool Haus on August 4 and 5.
Video: Yeah Yeah Yeahs: Snakesweat
The Jim James/M Ward/Conor Oberst/Mike Mogis-powered supergroup Monsters Of Folk are giving away an MP3 from their upcoming self-titled debut, out September 22, in exchange for your politeness. Grab it off their website, read some comments on the project from band members at Spinner and NME and keep an eye out for tour dates for this Fall.
Interestingly, Jim James is credited on the Monsters Of Folk website as “Yim Yames”, his solo alter ego. Tribute To, his George Harrison tribute EP, will be out on August 4 and a full-length solo record is in the works. Billboard talks to James/Yames about the Harrison EP, a song from which is available to download on his website.