Our favourite Minneapolis-via-Minnesota trio Now, Now - aka Cacie Dalager (vocals, guitar, keyboard), Bradley Hale (drums, backing vocals) and Jess Abbott (guitar, vocals) - have returned with a brand new album.
Their second effort, ‘Threads’ is their first for label Trans Record - and you can have a listen to it before release here on DIY. The band have also talked us through the entire thing, track by track. Enjoy!
The guys will be over here a little later this year for few headline dates, and support slots for Motion City Soundtrack; have a gander at the dates here. It’ll be their first visit to our shores since 2009.
1. The Pull
This song was actually the original demo that turned into ‘Thread’, but there was something really telling of the album as a whole in this version so we decided to keep both. We liked the idea that these two songs fit together but also stood on their own. We recorded it in my (Brad) bedroom at night with all the lights off.
To me this was one of the more challenging songs on the record, at least in the writing/demoing process. I think it took us about 2 or 3 weeks to write a chorus we were happy with. In this song there are two breaks that have a kind of dull ‘stomping’ beat (but I know if I turn around…), I’m pretty sure part of that sound was hitting a piece of cardboard with a skateboard and also pounding on doors in Howard’s basement.
3. Lucie, Too
The mood of this song to us is really sad and lonely, however, when we recorded I had to play one of those wooden frog noisemaker things that really made it hard to keep that mood.
4. Dead Oaks
This is the oldest song on the record, the first one that was written in the new batch of songs that became this album. I remember Cacie playing it for me the first time we were in Europe. We were stuck in France because the UK border wouldn’t let us in. So instead we stayed at a hotel on the water and Cacie played songs on her little acoustic guitar while I enjoyed some Belgian beer. Recording this song was quite challenging because of the simplicity of the arrangement, there was no where to hide mistakes.
5. Oh. Hi.
This song was fun to record drum-wise. At the end there is the sort of ‘break down’ section where there are some tom fills that I got to double on some big toms. I felt like I was in an orchestra recording a film score.
6. But I Do
What was interesting with this song was the time we took to build and layer guitar sounds to make the end sound just right. It needed to sound big and full and powerful but not take over that really important vocal melody. It’s a song that relies heavily on the mood created by the music, so it was a challenge to make sure we got it just right.
7. Separate Rooms
This was one of the newest songs we wrote for the record. I remember the demo that Cacie sent me that was just her and her acoustic. It had a really great feeling to it, but then I sat at my keyboard for a few minutes and that bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep bleep bloop bloop melody happened. Surprisingly Cacie was into it, I didn’t think she was going to like it.
Like I said earller, this song came from ‘The Pull’. We were having such a hard time making ‘The Pull’ into a full on song because it felt so good as just a verse and a chorus. Somewhere in that struggle I made this really terrible demo on my computer with synthesizer guitars and fake drums that I thought the girls would just laugh at, but turns out they liked it. When we recorded with Howard I got to play a really insanely loud Hammond B3. I felt really really cool.
This song had gone through many many changes before we recorded it in Vancouver. We played it on that tour with Paramore in 2009, but it was a weird almost electro-pop version that we ended up deeming pretty cheesy. This was another one where I was just playing around on my computer with really bad fake guitar sounds. We spent a lot of time on this one in the studio because of the complexity of it. I’m pretty sure Jess got to play through a Roland Jazz Chorus which was awesome.
10. School Friends
Now that I think about it, this might be the oldest song on the record. I wrote it in my dorm room in college instead of doing my homework. I remember playing it for my friend at the time outside on a grassy hill (yes, it sounds cheesy, but it’s true) and being super nervous because I never sing in front of people. I can barely sing in front of Jess and Cacie when we’re writing together. This was a fun one to record in the studio. We did some cool double drum parts at the end and also played a toy piano as a percussion instrument.
This one was an interesting one to record. Not only did it involve a banjo, but it also involved a box of bran flakes. At the first chorus there is a half time drum beat that comes in that we made by dropping the box of bran flakes on the ground. It also may have involved the skateboard/cardboard box combo.
We spent a lot of time on this one. It was going to be the closing track on the record from the start so it had to end just perfectly. What I love most about how this one turned out is at the very end there is a piano part that follows Cacie’s vocals (Can you still feel the pull…). On the take that we used for the record there was a car that drove by the studio right after I finished playing those notes, you can hear it if you pay attention. There’s something about that sound that wraps the song up perfectly to me. I’m not really sure what it is.
Now, Now will release their new album ‘Threads’ on 27th August.