Breaking their band’s own mold somewhat, the brothers Kadane have finally begun pushing the New Year away from its Bedhead roots of gorgeous slowcore. Instead we get a more dynamic, full-bodied sound, replete with the buzzing grind of electric rockers like “The Idea of You” and the nervy, gliding “The Door Opens.”
In its own way, The New Year acts as a sort of crossroads album for the band. Not only does it stand as a summation of their greatest (previous) strengths, its rhythmic and propulsive sway points to a new, more fervently alive direction for the group, making both the band and album’s name all the more appropriate. And despite the long-overdue evolution, they’re still capable of generating gorgeous ballads — “The Company I Can Get” and the melancholic, piano-laced “Body and Soul” — with a breathless ease.