Over the last seventeen years, in the 1990s with Bedhead and for the last decade with The New Year, Matt and Bubba Kadane have done all they could to avoid feeling rushed in making a
record. Records need time to be coherent, and coherence – even thin thematic coherence – is what makes records worth more than a mere collection of songs.

The most recent payoff of this approach is The New Year’s newest self-titled release, the culmination of four years of song-writing and a year of recording. Lyrically, these ten songs address the interlocked themes of lost time, frustrated desire, and the need for others. Although musically these may be the band’s most varied songs -- for a band that made innovative use of three guitars, almost half the songs here are built around the piano – it is the careful sequence of these songs that brings the story the lyrics tell together. Even the lack of a record title seems deliberate in suggesting that this is the culmination of everything this band has tried to achieve.
The first thing you notice is the violin. It saws out high and lonesome and earthy above the rumble of bass and drums. And then you’ll realize this is more fiddle than violin; it’s American-sounding, raw and sonorous, resonating deep into the ground, past the roots of trees, sighing up to shoot holes in the clouds and drifting back behind mountains. It’s the sound of train-tracks, of boots caked with mud and farmhouses and factories and hard life in big cities.