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.
The New Year declared the end is near with an album of the same name in 2004, but the band lives on with this self-titled work, its third full-length. The band is anchored by brothers Bubba and Matt Kadane, who used to form the core of the stalwart slowcore band Bedhead. Their music is still slow and sumptious, with even a bit more melancholy and apocalyptic dread. Always a band to employ sinewy, almost math-rock-like guitar work, the New Year reportedly foregrounds the piano much more on this album. Continuing on with the Kadanes in the New Year are guitarist Peter Schmidt, who also played with the brothers in Bedhead, and drummer Chris Brokaw, who used to man the kit for Come.
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