The band’s change in name might not be as innocent as it looks. Formerly Now Now Every Children, the band has ultimately grown, both in personnel and maturity, consequently justifying the loss of the name’s last two words. Their debut album ‘Cars’ was an earnest musical portrait of their youth while, on the other hand, sophomore album ‘Threads’ comes off as more of a confident testament to their growth in which the attention to detail and general style feel immediately more satisfying.
Here, Now, Now’s atmosphere is created through a combination of crisp guitar layers, understated synths, the intriguing mix of Cacie Dalager’s lower-tone whisper and Jess Abbott’s floating harmonies and meticulous work on song structures. In some ways, the form and philosophy of their style is akin to Tegan & Sara (along with the necessary 2-girl comparison), with unusual and quirky arrangements that continuously manage to sound fresh, if not more and more interesting, with every listen.
The band are at their most outstanding on songs such as ‘But I Do’ in which a slow build-up of nuanced emotions leads into a heart-wrenching "I am what you need when you can’t find it somewhere else / I am what you want when you don’t want anything else" amidst waves of layered sound. ‘Thread’, of which the cryptic chorus is first heard in an ethereal fashion on the album’s introductory track ‘The Pull’, takes a more energetic route but with the same amount of success. Now, Now must have mastered the art of structure, because every new section appears to perfectly interlock with its preceding segment without ever being predictable.
Surely a stand-out track, ‘School Friends’ is heart-felt and features more spine-tingling moments as a delightful palm-muted chord progression, the bittersweet lyrics and the melodic instrumental additions in the background emerge following a couple of deliberately restrained measures. Now, Now often hold back, only to find the perfect timing for release, delivering a soft, emotional catharsis.
‘Threads’ is a triumph of control. The trio check all the boxes exactly right and even scribble down some of their own. Haunting, fresh and required listening. Now. Now, Now.
‘Threads’ by Now, Now is released on August 27th through Trans-Records.
Words by James Berclaz-Lewis (@swissbearclaw)