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A Timeless New Start

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 17, 2008 4:00PM

A few years ago, Bedhead spent the night on the floor of our apartment – if we remember correctly one of them was “friendly” with our roommate at the time – and in the morning all the members woke up and shuffled around our pad in a daze and sporting, yes, bedhead. We had seen them play The Empty Bottle the night before and had been struck by just how powerful such a sleepy sounding and slowly building band could be. They rarely hit the distortion pedal but the lack of noise was more than made up for by an excess of emotional intensity. When the band broke up a few years later we were saddened but unsurprised since we reckoned it took a lot out of those guys to keep such surging depths under control night after night without ever just cutting loose.

2008_10_the_new_year.jpgA few years later titular Bedhead headmen the Kadane brothers, Matt and Bubba, decided to start a new and slightly peppier band and named it The New Year. We admit that the new band’s first albums didn’t exactly set us on our collective ass, but it was a pleasant enough listen. The band’s last offering was almost four years ago, and since then we’ve gone through endless cycles of “next-big-things” and “bloggerati-darlings” and “these-guys-will-SAVE-music .“ In that time The New Year carefully crafted an album that stands outside of the rush of ‘next-big-things” and harkens back to a simpler time when indie was indie. We recently spoke about the trend of bands self-titling albums as a mark of a group’s confidence in a new or refined direction, and with this disc The New Year takes that notion and twists it into beautiful music.

The reason we made so many references to the current buzztastic state of the scene is because we want to underline just how far outside that cycle The New Year lives. The band creates beautifully baroque songs that evoke – in our grizzled and addled memory – a simpler time filled with the creation of mix-tapes while arguing with our roommate about whether the Dolby noise reduction should be on or off and the virtues of 60-minute tapes over 90-minute tapes, sonically speaking. The New year recreates that time because those years were filled with bands that stood outside the maelstrom and created beautiful music for no one other than themselves and their fans … even if often their fans literally numbered in the dozens. The New Year have created a perfect indie-rock album, full of tension, sadness, and blossoming hope. They’ve reminded us what it was like to be young and idealistic while still grounding us in the glory of growing older and wiser as they leverage their years to create something that stands outside of time.

MP3: The New Year "The Company I Can Get"
MP3: The New Year "X Off Days"

The New Year plays tonight at The Empty Bottle, 1035 N Western, 10 p.m., $14, 21+