The New Year

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The New Year
Genres Indie rock
Years active 1999–present
Labels Touch and Go Records
Associated acts Bedhead
Members Matt Kadane
Bubba Kadane
Peter Schmidt
Mike Donofrio
Chris Brokaw
Past members 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.

Band lineup[edit]

Like Bedhead in its later years, The New Year has no real base of operations, but consists of members who live in many locations all over America who write songs by trading tapes through the mail and convene every few years to record and tour. The band consists of brothers Matt and Bubba Kadane (located respectively in Ithaca, New York and Dallas and formerly of Bedhead), Mike Donofrio (of the band Saturnine, located in New York), Josh McKay (of the Athens, Georgia band Macha), Peter Schmidt (located in Dallas, formerly of the bands Three on a Hill, Funland and the Legendary Crystal Chandelier) and Chris Brokaw (in Boston, formerly of the bands Codeine and Come).

The New Year was originally intended to be a two-person project made up of only the Kadane brothers. Donofrio, McKay, Schmidt, and Brokaw, all longtime friends of the Kadanes, were slowly recruited for live performances and the lineup solidified.

Recording and touring[edit]

In 2000, The New Year recorded their first album, Newness Ends, in Chicago, with Steve Albini (who had previously recorded the final Bedhead album "Transaction De Novo"); it was released in February 2001 on Touch & Go Records. Because the lineup wasn't complete at the time of its recording, not everyone credited on the album (namely Schmidt) actually played on it. The album garnered much critical praise and comparison to the Kadanes' previous work. 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, their next album would have sounded very similar to Newness Ends.[1]

After a short tour to support Newness Ends the members separated again and almost everyone worked 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. Brokaw released solo recordings, played on recordings by Evan Dando and Consonant and collaborated on a project with playwright Rinde Eckert. 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.

In 2003 the members regrouped as The New Year to record the material that would become the album The End Is Near. The album, released by Touch & Go Records in May 2004, was again recorded by Steve Albini. The band filmed a music video (a first for the Kadanes) for the song "Disease" to accompany the album.

A third The New Year record was released on September 9, 2008, after nearly four years of inactivity from the band. 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. 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.[2]

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

Singer Bubba Kadane says 2008's The New Year is the first album he actually likes to listen to on his own time. "The difference with this record, for me personally, is that I want to listen to it more than the other records," he said.[3]

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." [4]


Bubba and Matt Kadane formed Overseas with David Bazan of Pedro The Lion and Will Johnson of Centro-matic. Their debut album was announced on April 4, 2013 and will be released on June 11, 2013.



  1. ^ Interview: The New Year (Matt and Bubba Kadane) by Stephen Raywood
  2. ^ Exclaim! News: The New Year Prep New Album, Hit the Road
  3. ^ The Dallas Observer: 2008 Should've Been The New Year's Year
  4. ^ Chris Brokaw website: Chris Brokaw website

External links[edit]