Review: Now, Now at Songbyrd
As a Minnesotan that is never too shy to boast about his home state, welcoming Minneapolis-based duo Now, Now to my, now, home in DC, was nothing short of a treat. On the heels of their third album, Saved – their first in six years – the band was in town for their first-ever headlining tour, and it did not disappoint.
Performing for a sold-out crowd in the basement of Adams Morgan's Songbyrd Music Cafe, the band played mostly from the new album, but mixed in a slew of old favorites that had the overflowing crowd singing along from start to finish. The energy was palpable, and the band paused multiple times to soak in the moment, thanking the fans, and NPR, for being with them from the beginning.
A six year hiatus in the current music industry is almost unheard of, and is normally followed by a quasi-reunion tour these days (see: LCD Soundsystem). But in the case of Now, Now, the time off was just what was needed to reinvent and perfect the emo roots of their much-loved previous album, Threads, into the dream-pop, feel-good sound of their latest effort.
The resulting product, Saved, feels less like the anxious venting that defined the band's previous records (and so many of our adolescent years), and, instead, corralled those emotions fans loved into a new groove-inducing sound carried by the synth-pop that is defining popular music right now. We still get KC Dalager's soft, yet powerful lyricism, and Brad Hale's sonically cathartic production (check out Sombear, his solo-project), but with a new hook-driven twist – a twist that has this fan proclaiming Saved one of the best albums of 2018.
Standouts, on the album include MJ, Window, Yours, Saved, and AZ, but the whole album is, truly, flawless from front to back and well-deserving of the acclaim and accolades they are receiving from the likes of The New Yorker, The Fader, and more. It's exactly what I want from a pop-album in 2018, and a must-spin for the rest of your summer.
All photos by Jordan Wilhelmi for Capitol Sound DC.