Now, Now Every Children – Cars
Record Label: Afternoon Records
Release Date: December 9, 2008
I really didn’t want to like Now, Now Every Children. If I tried to keep track of every indie band tagged with a cutesy name or fronted by a waifish young lady, I wouldn’t have the time to iron my plaid shirts or drink coffee with an air of distraction. Fortunately, Cacie Dalager (vocals, guitars, keys) and Bradley Hale (drums, vocals) took the decision out of my hands.
Following the release of two EPs on Afternoon Records (Not One, But Two and In the City), the duo set their sights on a debut LP, and Cars was born. With the dial tuned firmly to lo-fi, the album toys with quiet but efficient percussion and wandering guitar and keyboard lines. Now, Now Every Children’s airy moods are guided by Dalager’s dreamy confessions, which breathe through a voice that sounds as though it’s spent the day lost in a crowd or staring wistfully out a window. It’s soft, but not without character and a kind of sensitive detachment.
Cars is both wonderful and flawed in the fact that Dalager and Hale have mastered the art of musical weightlessness. There is no part of this album that feels tethered to much of anything (for example, try the cloud-like simplicity of “Sleep Through Summer”), but at some point it becomes difficult to see what’s happening back on Earth. While it’s hard to complain given how easy it is to drift through this album, it would be nice to hear what would happen if we bumped up the amps and got a bit dirty. This may have been the intent of the second half of “Friends With My Sister,” which lays out a crunchy cadre of distorted chords following the delicate bells and feathery “oohs” and “ohhs” that rest in the song’s beginning. Against the backdrop of ethereal atmospheres we’ve seen so far, this breakdown is practically a coup, but the emotional needle of Dalager’s voice barely registers a quiver. For all we know, she’s finally floated away.
But really, you probably shouldn’t listen to my stodgy grumblings because these qualms don’t really affect the overall outcome of the album. Dalager can carry on being comatose for all I care, I’ll keep (mutely) rocking out to the bouncing indie jaunt of “Not One, But Two” and “In My Chest.” And I’ll certainly cut the first person to upset the brilliant balance of “We Know Martha Webber” and “Cars,” which will henceforth be known as the two songs that Eisley wished they wrote. These are timid tunes, and that’s exactly why they succeed.
I didn’t want to like Now, Now Every Children, but after letting Cars glide through my head for a while, I’ll be damned if I don’t love ‘em. Thankfully I’ve still got room in my schedule to browse the aisles at the Salvation Army and bitch about people who eat meat. Hell, now I’ve even got a soundtrack.
I've been addicted to this for a couple of weeks now.. I think I actually like it more than Copeland's You Are my sunshine, mainly because it has a really good voice and i'm a sucker for distortion (in the first track to be more precise) good review..