The New Year, The New Year
The New Year ruminates on change, passing time, and being the oldest guy at the indie-rock party.
While the click to 01/01 typically involves champagne, auld lang syne and kissing strangers, this New Year nudges itself into submission — a hangover that sets in before the second round. Far from the kerranging in Times Square, Matt and Bubba Kadane indulge in low-key drama. But it's clear they're asking the same questions we all do as we become one year older: "What's next? Am I using this time wisely?" Their response seems to be a resistance to change. The third, eponymous New Year release, like its predecessors, ruminates over indie's Albini Effect: tempered guitars, crisp drums and vocals front and center. The New Year never runs out of steam; they save it up.
Once they pick up speed, edging further into the mostly instrumental “Folios,” Matt asks with a gentle hum: “I don't think the good years I've got can wait / So what are we staying for?” Feeling like the oldest guy at the indie-rock party, Matt can't seem to find familiarity, and so he fires off a moody status update: “It's not that I'm dying / To be young again / But the last few years / Have turned me into an alien” (“The Idea of You”). Adding muscle to his brother's literate searching, Bubba's “The Door Opens” cranks the volume and then quickly slams the threshold, in favor of the piano ballad “MMV.” “I can't surprise myself,” adds Matt in “My Neighborhood,” its organ a subtle sonic nod to “A Whiter Shade of Pale.” But maybe surprise isn't what we're looking for, just reassurance.