In this week's paper, which is already either at or near an Observer rack near you, you'll find Robert's take on the brand spankin' new self-titled record from The New Year. As you all should know, The New Year is the most recent project from Matt and Bubba Kadane, who once upon a time were in the sorta-seminal (at least 'round these here parts) band Bedhead, an act Robert--among many others like him who saw Deep Ellum truly thrive in the days of yore--still can't get enough of.
Me? Well, as a still-relative newbie to town, I never really knew of Bedhead before I got here, and my introduction to The New Year actually came from what I now know is an OK-but-not-great cover of their "The End's Not Near" by Band of Horses (get the cover song here.)
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Anyway, since I came to learn about The New Year--in a roundabout way, yes, but at least I got there--and I learned about their obvious Dallas ties, I've really come to appreciate their music. But I especially enjoy this new album. The vocals are throughout it are at once affecting, accessible, heartbreaking and honest--and the backing music matches up with it incredibly well. This is easily the most original sound I've heard in the regional rock scene since moving to town. And yet, for the many people who weren't around for the Deep Ellum heyday of Bedhead and others, their efforts remain largely unknown--or so I've been able to surmise. Quite the shame, too, since this is stuff that should be appreciated across the board. Seriously...
Just really beautiful stuff. --Pete Freedman