Friday, December 3rd, 2010
Review of Now, Now’s Neighbors
Big HassleLast year, I wrote up a duo out of Minnesota called Now, Now Every Children who impressed with their debut album Cars, a no-frills chunk of indie rock made special by Cacie Dalager’s winsome vocals, simultaneously sweet and sullen. I had been looking forward to experiencing that specialness live in August of ’09, when they were slated to play the El Mocambo, but that show was cancelled when their van broke down for not the first time on that tour and given that apparently not many tickets had been sold, it wasn’t rescheduled.
But even without conquering Canada, they rode Cars to some pretty impressive success, touring the US and Europe before enjoying some well-deserved burnout and disappearing from view. And in that time off, they retooled, ditched half of their name and gained a member (or three, depending on what promo photos you look at) and have now re-emerged as Now, Now. Though less grammatically awkward, it’s still far from great as names go but complaints like that are quickly forgotten thanks to the first release it’s attached to, the forthcoming Neighbors EP. And while I don’t know that the differences between it and Cars necessarily required an identity change, they’ve experienced a pretty remarkable artistic growth spurt in the past year.
Dalager’s voice is still as beguiling an instrument as ever, but the growth in their songwriting and musicianship is what really stands out – the arrangements are more sophisticated and dynamic, yet leaner. It’s as though they’ve figured out how to do much more with less, and while the EP only really numbers four proper songs – two are acoustic versions and one an instrumental introduction – and clocks in at barely 20 minutes, it feels rangier and more satisfying than many bands’ can muster in twice the length. It might be just a teaser for a full-length that won’t be out for a while yet (it’s not being recorded until the new year), but it’s a strong reminder that Now, Now, or whatever they’re calling themselves a few months from now, are an outfit worth hearing.
Rae Spoon returns to Toronto sor a show at the Gladstone on December 12.
JAM and aux.tv talk to The Lowest Of The Low, celebrating the 20th anniversary reissue of Shakespeare… My Butt with two sold-out shows at Lee’s Palace tonight and tomorrow and an in-store at Sonic Boom on Saturday afternoon at 3PM.
Drowned In Sound has unearthed the transcript of an interview with Efrim Manuck of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, just in time for their return to active duty via All Tomorrow’s Parties. They’ve got four sold-out shows set for Lee’s Palace next April.