The New Year

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This article is about the band. For the 2010 film, see The New Year (film). For other uses, see New Year (disambiguation).
The New Year
Origin United States
Genres Indie rock, slowcore
Years active 1999–present
Labels Touch and Go Records
Associated acts Bedhead, Overseas, David Bazan, Will Johnson
Website www.thenewyear.net
Members Matt Kadane, Bubba Kadane, Mike Donofrio, Chris Brokaw
Past members Peter Schmidt, Josh McKay

The New Year is an American indie rock band, formed in 1999, a year after the demise of the band Bedhead by former Bedhead members Bubba and Matt Kadane.[1] They released their first album in 2000, Newness Ends, which like their following albums was recorded with Steve Albini. The End Is Near (2004) and The New Year (2008) followed, with both being received positively by music critics at Pitchfork Media and Allmusic. The band is currently working on a new LP.

History[edit]

Bedhead, founding[edit]

The band was formed in 1999, a year after the demise of the band Bedhead by former Bedhead members Bubba and Matt Kadane. The New Year was originally intended to be a two-person project made up of only the Kadane brothers. Four musicians, all longtime friends of the Kadanes, were slowly recruited for live performances and the lineup solidified.[1]

Like Bedhead in its later years, The New Year started with no real base of operations.[1] Early on Matt and Bubba Kadane were located respectively in Boston and Dallas. The band soon added bassist Mike Donofrio (of the band Saturnine, located in New York), drummer Chris Brokaw (in Boston, formerly of the bands Codeine and Come), and guitarist Peter Schmidt (located in Dallas, formerly of the bands Three on a Hill, Funland and the Legendary Crystal Chandelier).[2][1]

Recording and touring[edit]

Newness Ends (2000)

In 2000, The New Year recorded their first album, Newness Ends, in Chicago, with Steve Albini. Albini had previously recorded the final Bedhead album Transaction De Novo. Newness Ends was released in February 2001 on Touch & Go Records.[2] Because the lineup wasn't complete at the time of its recording, not everyone credited on the album (namely Schmidt) actually played on it.[3] The album garnered critical praise and comparison to the Kadanes' previous work.[4] The Kadanes said in interviews at the time that they felt the only real difference between Bedhead and The New Year was the name, and that if Bedhead had not disbanded that their next album would have sounded very similar to Newness Ends.[2]

For a time in 2003 their friend Josh McKay (of the Athens, Georgia band Macha) joined on keyboards, guitar, and random percussion.[5] After a short tour to support Newness Ends[2] the members separated again with most working on other projects. The Kadanes recorded a score for the documentary film Hell House, the soundtrack of which wasn't released until 2004, though the film first appeared in 2001.[2] Brokaw released solo recordings, played on recordings by Evan Dando and Consonant and collaborated on a project with playwright Rinde Eckert.[6] Peter Schmidt played with the Legendary Crystal Chandelier, whose second and final album, Beyond Indifference, was released at about the same time as Newness Ends.[7]

The End Is Near (2004)

In 2003 the members regrouped as The New Year to record the material that would become their album The End Is Near.[8] The album, released by Touch & Go Records in May 2004, was again recorded by Steve Albini.[9] Positively received in publications such as the Dusted Magazine,[9] the band filmed a music video (a first for the Kadanes) for the song "Disease" to accompany the album.[10] The album yielded the band's most popular single, "The End's Not Near," which quickly garnered over a hundred thousand views on YouTube.[11]

The New Year (2008)

A third album by The New Year, The New Year, was released on September 9, 2008. The new material is described by Touch and Go Records in a release stating, "Lyrically, these ten songs address the interlocked themes of lost time, frustrated desire, and the need for others." Like with their other albums, the songs have three guitars. The New Year, however, was new in that almost half the songs are built around the piano.[12]

The album was well-received, earning 4.5/5 stars from Allmusic[13] and 7.5 from Pitchfork Media. A generally positive review by Pitchfork praised the album's more cheerful melodies and hopeful lyrics, while noting the melancholy sound of the band's previous releases was intact on many of the songs.[14]

Will Johnson from the band Centro-matic accompanied the band on the US leg of its autumn 2008 tour.[15]

Recent years, side-projects[edit]

See also: Overseas (band)

In June 2012 drummer Chris Brokaw posted on his website that "The New Year has begun work on a new LP in Chicago, again with Mr. Steve Albini at the controls."[16]

In early 2012 Bubba and Matt Kadane formed Overseas[17] with David Bazan of Pedro The Lion and Will Johnson of Centro-matic.[18] Their debut album was officially announced on April 4, 2013 and was released on June 11, 2013.[19]

Members[edit]

Current
Rotating/past
  • Peter Schmidt - guitar
  • Josh McKay - keyboards, guitar, percussion[5]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

List of studio and live albums by The New Year
Year Album title Release details
2001 Newness Ends
2004 The End Is Near
  • Released: May 18, 2004
  • Label: Touch & Go
  • Format: CD, digital
2008 The New Year
  • Released: Sept 9, 2008
  • Label: Touch & Go
  • Format: CD, digital

Singles[edit]

Incomplete list of songs by
Year Title Album Notes
2003 "Sinking Ship" (demo version) Single only Esopus Magazine
2004 "The End's Not Near" The End Is Near

Covers[edit]

The New Year songs have been covered by the following artists:

Further reading[edit]

Interviews
Reviews

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Member sites