Song 236: Now, Now, “School Friends” (2012)

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I had the tremendous luck to see Minneapolis band Now, Now—back when they were known as Now, Now Every Children—at the 7th Street Entry, the tiny room next to First Avenue. They had just released the fantastic record Cars, and it was clear that they were poised for greatness.

Sure enough, within the next couple of years, Now, Now signed to big indie Anti- and released Threads. Produced by Death Cab For Cutie’s Chris Walla, Threads is both big and small in sound: it’s personal and intimate, but it reaches for the jugular every time. The moment that gets to me in “School Friends” is when Cacie Dalager sings “invisible like you want her.” Suddenly, the song lifts ever so slightly, and the keyboard reaches up too, as if trying to find light above the darkness.

The two main members of Now, Now—Dalager and guitarist Brad Hale—were a couple of marching band geeks in high school, and this may be a stretch, but I swear I can hear that influence on Threads. Each part plays a role in making the song a big, beating heart, a formation on the field.

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