Needles//Pins have just dropped third album, Good Night, Tomorrow, on Mint Records; it's a balancing act between change and consistency. It's been three years since Shamebirds, and the new effort is a noticeably different record. Singer and guitarist Adam Solomonian explained to Exclaim! what gives the album its character.
1. It took 100 times longer to record.
While Shamebirds and the group's 2012 debut, 12:34, each took five studio days to complete, Good Night, Tomorrow was recorded in multiple sessions over the course of a year and a half. Solomonian says the band purposefully took their time with it, because they wanted to be able to sit with the songs for longer. "It gave it some more space," he says. "It's often the case that if you do a record in five days, you get home and say, 'Oh, I wish I had done this.' We wanted some more space to do what we had done, but add to it."
2. The vocals sound way different.
Solomonian's vocal delivery is perhaps the most instantly noticeable difference. While his voice on earlier Needles//Pins releases was the kind of slightly nasally, slightly gritty singing you'd hear on a '80s power pop record, his gruff, gravelly style on Good Night, Tomorrow is more akin to what you'd hear at The Fest. But that's not because of any wear and tear, nor did he make a conscious effort to sing that way — in fact, it's the opposite. "I've been singing in bands for a long time, and that's just the way I actually do sing," Solomonian says. "When we first started, we were going for a more traditionally power pop garage band, so I sang in a style that was more amenable for that. But this record is me singing more naturally. It's not really a change so much as it's a return."
3. They hired a new producer.
While the first two Needles//Pins records were produced by Jordan Koop at the Noise Floor, the band turned to a fresh ear for the third. Jesse Gander, whose work includes multiple albums for Japandroids, the Pack A.D. and White Lung, produced Good Night, Tomorrow, and has even unofficially joined the band on keys. Solomonian says Gander helped bring a new dynamic to the band's sound as they pursued more fleshed-out instrumentation, partly inspired by the Lemonheads' 1992 album It's a Shame About Ray. "There's a lot on the record that's a little bit different here and there," says Solomonian.
4. Many songs are about coping with insomnia.
"A lot of songs have to do with sleeping, or not sleeping," says Solomonian, who has dealt with insomnia from time to time. One of his favourite tracks from the new album is "Sleep," a sombre, mid-tempo tune that he says captures the essence of the album's theme. "That song really crystallizes what the record is about — just feeling like a piece of garbage, really, and all the fallout from that and the various kinds of reflections you go through in certain states of unhappiness. It comes to a conclusion whereby you know things are going to be okay."