Published May 15, 2018For a band whose latest record has been gestating for more than five years, Now, Now waste no time making a first impression. The impressive opening run of songs: "SGL," "MJ," "Can't Help Myself" and "AZ" quickly help Brad Hale and KC Dalager set the tone for the rest of the record. Saved is a moody, emotionally candid record that demonstrates that the length of time the band took to put the album together was well worth it.
Occupying a space between Tegan and Sara and CHVRCHES, Saved shows Now, Now's electro-pop leanings, with warm synth pads and drum machines creating moody atmospheres across the record. Closer "Powder" pairs one of Dalager's more tender vocal turns against shimmering synths, but like most of the record, there's an underlying tension within the mix. "If I'm so perfect baby / How come you don't want me?" she asks. Elsewhere, the Michael Jackson-saluting "MJ" isn't exactly a loving tribute, with Dalager communing with the King of Pop about the state of a deteriorating relationship. Their lyricism is blunt and direct, and it pairs wells against the excellent production across the record.
"We needed to hit rock bottom in order to rebuild and come back stronger than before," Dalegar has said about the arduous process behind the record. On Saved, Now, Now's emotional struggles are on full display. There's a lot hiding beneath the surface here, with the pretty ambiance hiding real, visceral emotion. But it's also a rewarding and compelling listen, one that shapes these feelings into something beautiful. (Trans Records)