Now, Now's breakout album, Threads, was not as much about breaking up as holding on. Its songs carried in them a weary recognition of how desire and nostalgia linger in the body and mind, and zoomed in on the brittle filaments that bind together people who have long since declared themselves better off apart. "I can sleep, I can sleep, I can sleep — soon," went one characteristically fraught line, teasing relief and then snatching it away as guitars cracked and rumbled like fireworks.
There's not much material evidence of how the band's next move might be different, but what little we have to go on is striking. Now, Now took the Tiny Desk stage with a minimal setup (dig the sampler as drum kit) that laid the vocals bare, but still lent the songs a room-filling pulse. Among those songs were "SGL" and "Yours," the two singles that heralded the band's return this summer (a full five years after Threads, with a pared-down lineup and no album yet announced, though the rumors say next year). As their performance here makes clear, KC Dalager and Bradley Hale have added a few new tools to their arsenal — synth-forward arrangements, that triplet swagger you loved from "The Wire" and "Run Away With Me," the word "baby" — but their focus on tiny moments between people just outside of love is as sharp as ever. If there's more where this came from, 2018 can't come soon enough.
- "Separate Rooms"
KC Dalager; Bradley Hale; Jeffrey Sundquist; Daniel O'Brien
Producers: Daoud Tyler-Ameen, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, CJ Riculan, Alyse Young; Editor: Niki Walker; Production Assistant: Salvatore Maicki; Photo: Christina Ascani/NPR
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