Threads – the second full-length release from Minneapolis based Now, Now – explores the fragile and often transitory nature of our existence, our perceived understanding of the world around us and relationships shared with others physically and emotionally. Produced by Howard Redekopp (Tegan and Sara, An Horse, New Pornographers), Threads forms a sprawling sonic endeavor that showcases the bands incredible growth as songwriters and musicians. Vulnerable vocals give way to oceans of sound retaining definition via deftly layered guitar parts augmented by lingering synths which alternate between background and center stage.
This past June, Now, Now, a trio composed of Cacie Dalager (Vocals, Guitar), Jess Abbot (Vocals, Guitar), and Brad Hale (Drums, Synth) packed up their van and drove 1800 miles across North America to record with Redekopp in Vancouver, BC. Beyond the geographical shift, the recording felt miles removed from their full-length debut Cars. Released in 2008 prior to Abbot joining the band, Cars saw the fresh out of High School Dalager and Hale traveling the United States non-stop and finding their way onto European arena tours. Through word of mouth and constant touring, Now, Now (formerly Now, Now Every Children) began building a support system of fans and friends, including Maine native, Abbot. Hale and Dalager quickly became fans of the music Abbot was making in other bands; “It was kind of funny because she and I used to make jokes about how in an alternate universe we would probably be in a band together,” recalls Dalager. “We had a practice where she played for us the parts she had written for songs off Cars, recalls Hale. It was apparent from those sessions Abbot could bring something to Now, Now. “Her guitar work is amazing,” says Dalager, “and just adding another creative brain into the mix was refreshing for us.”
Soon enough, Abbot relocated to the Twin Cities to become the third member of Now, Now Every Children, sharing equally in songwriting and vocal contributions. Dropping “Every Children” from their name, Now, Now began working on the Neighbors EP, an experiment in writing and recording for the first time as a three piece. Though the original plan was to self-release the EP, it found a home at No Sleep Records, who encouraged the band to tour through the first half of 2011.
It was during this time another relationship formed during the years following Cars began to grow. Chris Walla, guitarist/producer of Death Cab for Cutie, had taken an interest in the band’s music. “From the very first time we had contact with him,” explains Hale, “he was always excited and positive about things.” Support from an artist they admired musically and personally proved inspiring to Now, Now. At SXSW 2011 Walla came to each of their shows, helped them lug gear and even talked a police officer out of giving them a parking ticket. With mutual admiration all around, it was natural for Now, Now to sign to Walla’s Trans- Records. “In working with Chris and his label,” explains Abbot, “we’ve been given a lot of freedom to make sure we’re happy with the music. We run at a slower place as a band, and he’s not pushed us, but instead given us our time. It’s nice to have that from somebody who could probably sign any number of bands, and make them do what he wants.”
With a true sense of purpose and excitement they hadn’t felt in years, Now, Now made the trip to meet with Redekopp to record Threads. “What people will specifically notice about the songs on Threads,” says Hale, “is the way that they are put together. We spent a lot of time going through the basic song ideas and restructuring them to make them their best. Since we haven’t released a full-length in so long,” he explains, “we wanted to make sure we were all loving everything about it before we went all the way out there to record.” Between recording and tracking at three studios in Vancouver, the band would hang out with Redekopp at his house or watch him hit the half pipe at a local skate park. ”He became an extended member of the band;” explains Dalager, “he got inside our heads and understood everything we were going for.” During the recording Now, Now could tell they were hitting their stride for the first time. “As happy as we are with Neighbors,” Abbot says, “a lot of things didn’t click because we were just learning how to write together.” Dalager notes, “We killed ourselves over Threads. That sounds dramatic, but everything about it was excruciating in a good way. Every little idea was worked to its best.” As a result, “this is the
first release we feel really proud of.”
With the album complete, Now, Now look to the future with great anticipation. “This band feels like an extension of us as people,” explains Dalager. “It’s something we’ve been nurturing for a long time and is all we really care about;something we’ve worked really hard for and need to make happen no matter what.”
3. Separate Rooms
4. Oh. Hi.
5. Lucie, Too
6. School Friends
10. Dead Oaks
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For our friends who live in countries where YouTube is blocked, watch the session on Vimeo.