“There was more pressure on us for Threads, it had been so long since our first LP…” Brad Hale – Now, Now.
When Now, Now’s co-vocalist and co-guitarist Jess Abbott recently admitted that “we run at a slow pace as a band”, she wasn’t kidding. Four years after their fresh-out-of-high-school debut album Cars, Minnesota three piece are in a very different place: 33% larger (Abbott herself joined in 2009), on a different label (they are now signed to Death Cab guitarist Chris Walla’s Trans-Records), and finally armed with a fantastic follow-up, Threads.
Dark yet flecked with moments of real beauty, it’s a record that more than repays the faith that people have put into the group. Icy guitars are stacked high, each song filled with a dense, muscular sound. It’s not always rainbows and lolipops (infact it’s rarely rainbows and lolipops) but it is a majestic, uncompromising beast. Or in their own words “this is the first release we feel really proud of.”
Over its 12 tracks the group – completed by Cacie Dalager – ooze a coldness that can at times be at odds with what the majority of groups their age are peddling. There is a sense of being held at arms length. When, for example, the pure-pop of Dead Oaks breaks the surface the instant hooks shine all the brighter. Threads is an album that rewards the listeners patience, revealing more of itself after further listens.
We recently caught up with synth player and drummer Brad Hale to discuss starting over, the stresses and strains of creating Threads and crazy morning hair.
Considering your age Threads is an incredibly accomplished record. It’s wise-beyond its years. Does that reflect the three personalities in the band?
Thank you! I think most people that learn about our band perceive us as younger than we actually are. So in that sense, I feel like this record accurately reflects where we are at in life. But at the same time, the three of us can have our moments of youngness, for example, making fun of on another’s “morning hair” as a way to wake up each day.
Threads is your first album on a new label. Did it feel like you got to make a second debut album?
We often talk about our previous EP “Neighbours” as an in between period for us, so yes, this record almost feels like a second debut. It’s a fresh start for us, with a new label, a new team of people we’re working with, and so far it feels really healthy.
How easily did Threads come together?
“Threads” came with a long and stressful process, as do most full length releases. There was more pressure on us for this release since it had been so long since our first full length record. But all in all, we are completely happy and excited with the way everything has been going so far.
Much of the album reference sleep or a lack thereof, was this deliberate or born out of circumstance?
Most of our songs come from certain situations that we find ourselves in, and lack of sleep and energy was a major part of moving forward for the past year or two…. I don’t think we came at this record with the idea of it being about lack of sleep, but rather a sense of restlessness and urgency.
Threads is one of those albums that really grows from its first listen. How do you write an album like that? Does it just happen?
Well, one thing that is important to us in writing a record is that while having a really strong sense of emotion, that it is still broad and open enough for people to find their own meaning within each song. I think albums that take a few listens to really latch on to are the best kind because there isn’t that immediate throw away factor.
Any plans to come to the UK?
Yes! We just solidified a Euro/UK agent and are now really digging into overseas opportunities. We haven’t been over for a few years, so we feel it’s long overdue.
Threads is out now.