Bathed in Synth and Sparkle, Now, Now return with 'Saved'
Though Now, Now has roots in emo and pop punk, this is a pop album. Unapologetically upbeat and electronic, the duo of KC Dalager and Brad Hale set their direction with the release of their first single “SGL”, which dropped in 2017 and showed early on that the forthcoming album with not be a sonic continuation of Threads. The emotion on Saved is almost tangible, something that could flood listeners with images of hot summer nights and evening drives on the highway with any given track. Through the span of the first two tracks, “SGL” and “MJ” respectively, vocalist Dalager repeats “I want it all” declaring that after 6 years she finally knows what she wants, and she’s ready to get it on her own terms.
After losing their guitarist, Jess Abbott of Tancred, Dalager and Hale have drifted away from the anxious and hushed undertones that came with Threads only to explode forward with shiny and glittering tracks like “Yours” and “AZ”, making it clear that a rebirth is occurring. The album takes you on a journey through heaven and earth, alluding to the idea that romance and attraction can be downright holy. The album art is even hinting at a baptism of sorts.
Though bright and exciting in sound, Saved doesn’t shy away from the emotional and slightly dark. On tracks such as “Window”, Dalager sings about being locked out of a lover’s house waiting to be let in, waiting to be saved. A few tracks later Dalager coos about an unrequited lover and painful summer drives on the track “Drive”, aligning with the album long narrative of chasing your desire, though it might be just out of reach. There’s something haunting about the album conceptually and sonically, allowing the listener to indulge while simultaneously being told that hedonism can be dangerous.
After hearing Saved, it’s absolutely clear why Hale and Dalager took six years to complete and release the album. On the recent release, there’s a maturation that isn’t necessarily present on their previous work - something that you gain when you step away from the hurried actions and nervousness of young adulthood. Saved, while upbeat, is slow and intentional, taking it’s time to unfold the narrative rather than spitting it out before losing courage. This album was delivered to us at a time in the year where everything is possible and exciting, summer is for taking chances and that’s exactly what Now, Now did (and did well) with Saved.