Back in the spring of 2004, when I first got involved at KCSU, I came across Now It’s Overhead’s second LP release, “Fall Back Open.” It was a dark time for me – a time when all I listened to was pop-emo and visited absolutepunk.net everyday. (Pete Wentz, anyone?)
Now that I look back, Now It’s Overhead saved my life. It was one of the first bands that opened my ears to better music (most college students would agree, I hope). “Fall Back Open” consisted of spaced-out melancholy amalgamated with dreamlike melodies and irresistible resolutions.
Fast forward two-and-a-half years later and we have its new record, “Dark Light Daybreak” – a slumberous journey through heartfelt lyrics with just enough spunk to leave you feeling cleansed.
Now It’s Overhead consists primarily of Andy LeMaster, who writes and produces most of the music, and most importantly bestows the harmonious vocals. He is joined by drummer Clay Leverett, keyboardist/vocalist Maria Taylor and bassist/vocalist Orenda Fink. Taylor and Fink also have solo releases through Saddle Creek as well, and LeMaster is also a touring member of Bright Eyes. Basically Saddle Creek Records is one big musical family, but let’s get back to the record.
“Dark Light Daybreak” opens with “Let The Sirens Rest,” resembling the gloomy stream of sound we hear in “Fall Back Open.” However, the song won’t send you into a deep depression. It’s almost as if LeMaster took the moment in a movie when all the suffering and trials have come and gone and given us rejuvenation.
But as we delve into the rest of the record, LeMaster and Now It’s Overhead expand upon what they did in their previous record, and approach it more aggressively. Songs such as “Walls” and “Type A” demonstrate upbeat punchy choruses.
“Night Vision” and the title track, “Dark Light Daybreak,” return back to the shadowy haze Now It’s Overhead has perfected. A full electro texture of resonance rings out just long enough for LeMaster to top it off with his synchronized voice.
The record closes with an aching and frail mood complemented with acoustic guitar. Even handclaps don’t escape the writing process of “Let Up.” Man, I love handclaps.
“Dark Light Daybreak” will appeal to fans of Depeche Mode, My Bloody Valentine and more similar, “Bright Eyes’ Digital Ash In A Digital Urn.” Now It’s Overhead has been able to live up to its previous releases and give us something different, but also the same.
KCSU Music Director Jake Mountjoy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org