Friday, July 6, 2012

Artist Of The Day: The Early November

With the end of an "indefinite hiatus" behind them, a signing with the slightly-too-scene Rise Records, and a new album due towards the beginning of next week, I figured it would be a good time to feature The Early November. I know, if you've followed my posts, you know this is a very strong deviation from the material I normally feature. However, The Early November has some really homespun roots, and I think that attribute plays into their music being simplistic and true, instead of excessive and gaudy like a lot of pop-punk and alt rock is in the present day and age. The sound that the band lends to the music industry is much closer to indie pop, despite the similarities in instrument tone, vocal timbre, or facile song structure.

It began with the all-too-well-known Arthur Enders, known to many as Ace, along with a couple of friends helping him record some tunes, when the band stumbled into a lucky break by meeting and signing with Drive-Thru Records. After a shaky start with multiple lineup changes and essentially zero performance experience under their belt, The Early November was featured on select dates of Warped Tour of 2002, a pretty big thing for a band with only a 5-song demo in their repertoire. After getting their grounding as a band, they entered the studio to begin recording and working towards their first full length, 2003's The Room's Too Cold, one of the most solid debuts in indie pop I have ever heard.

Then, in 2005, the epic recording process for the sophomore album began. It took a full year and a half, with seven denials by Drive-Thru Records due to quality control issues, before finally accepted and released. The band's masterwork The Mother, The Mechanic, And The Path was a triple album full of spirit, life, energy, love and change. Each disc has a very different feel to it, with the third, The Path, being less of a list of tracks and much more of a narrative with descriptive, plot-moving tracks thrown in and between. It was a very intense form of self-expression for the band, and displayed an immense demeanor of artistic integrity. Powerfully emotional and beautifully put together, this record really displayed a side of the independent music world that was about showing off what creative musicians can do.

The upcoming album, In Currents, should be an interesting followup. Six years have passed since The Early November's seen any kind of release, but almost every single band member has been invested in some kind of side project, so they've been mostly active, musically speaking. Enders states on the band's website that the new record "is about the idea of being pulled in a direction that you can't control, like an ocean current or the flow of electricity...In Currents is a journey of the struggles and joys in life that we can't see coming." I'm incredibly interested to see what kind of musical shift the band will undergo, and how well the band's identity will have carried over the six-year gap, and how it has hopefully evolved into something even more evocative and wonderous.

You can stream In Currents here, which drops in stores on July 10.

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