By: Staff –
Nap Eyes will release their new album, Snapshot of a Beginner, on March 27th via Royal Mountain Records/Jagjaguwar. It is available for preorder here.
Lead single “Mark Zuckerberg” is a hi-fi jangle-pop earworm that, at its outset, sounds like it could be the theme song from Party of Five. Less a takedown of any one specific, capitalist tech fascist than it is a poem about the confounding and beautiful swirl of modern life, it is their thoughtful, incisive Hit for The People. “Transcendence is all around us,” Chapman repeats, a freeing incantation and a gift to us all as the coda slows and expands.
On the video, which can be watched below, the band notes: “People are scared of Mark Zuckerberg. You look at him before Congress and think, ‘Is this the bogeyman? Is he a CIA plant? Can he read my mind with some sort of God-mode search feature in all my chat transcripts?’ This video leads us to believe that Mark wants to enjoy and surveil whatever world he inhabits, whether it’s starting a band with ghastly apparitions in the spirit realm or changing size according to his whim while observing natural and urban landscapes with equal awe. He wants you to accept his friend request and let him watch over you. ‘When there was only one set of footprints in the sand…’”
Almost all the songs of Nap Eyes are whittled into their final form from frontman Nigel Chapman’s unspooling, 20-minute voice-and-guitar free-writing sessions. Each member — drummer Seamus Dalton, bassist Josh Salter and guitarist Brad Loughead — then plays a crucial role in song development, composing around the idiosyncratic structures and directing the overall sound and feel of the songs.
Until now, that final song construction and recording has been mostly done live in a room. But for Snapshot of a Beginner, the band went to The National’s nuevo-legendary upstate NY Long Pond Studio, working with producers Jonathan Low (Big Red Machine, The National) and James Elkington (Steve Gunn, Joan Shelley), the latter of whom also did pre-production arrangement work with the band. Never has Nap Eyes sounded more ferocious. It took them a long time and a long practice to reach this artistic zen, but one gets the feeling throughout Snapshot of a Beginner that this balance is going to hold.