Fuzzy, reflective, buoyant, and balanced, Great News’ sophomore album ‘Now and Them’ is a sweet dose of passionate daze-pop ready to fuel or daydreams and night visions.
for fans of Passion Pit, Genesis, Supertramp, Colony House
Stream: “Greedy Little Thing” – Great News
We could all use a little Great News these days, which is exactly why it pays to give this Norwegian indie band’s sophomore album a listen. Fuzzy, reflective, buoyant, and balanced, Great News’ new record Now and Them is a sweet dose of passionate daze-pop ready to fuel or daydreams and night visions.
Released April 17, 2020, Now and Them is part alt-pop party and part sit-in-the-corner-and-ruminate alternative. It’s the perfect soundtrack to the days and nights that blend together; as we struggle to make sense of time’s progression and find meaning and purpose in our everyday lives, this healthy dose of energetic and thoughtful sound serves as an all-too important wake-up call, whether we recognize it or not.
Bridging the effervescent, sunny demeanor of Supertramp and the hazy, compelling sonics of Passion Pit, Great News deliver rollicking indie rock with just the right touch of urgency and color. Comprised of lead vocalist/guitarist Even Kjelby, bassist Ole Kristian Einarsen, and drummer Lars Henrik Stoud Platou, the Norwegian trio debuted in 2017 with Wonderfault, self-described as “a shoe-gazer’s fuzzed out daydream.” Three years later, the band’s sophomore album finds them returning triumphant, gleaming with the confidence of a group who have found and honed in on their sweet spot.
In reviewing Now and Them‘s second single “Greedy Little Thing” earlier this year, Atwood praised Great News for a high-energy outburst ready to be played on blast: “The euphoric guitar-driven song… finds an engaging way to talk about minimalism and materialism without sounding preachy or coming off holier-than-thou. It’s the kind of song that billows with an undeniable effervescence, radiating intent off buoyant guitar riffs, spunky vocals, and everything in-between.”
This kind of excitement ripples throughout Now and Them‘s tracklist, with songs like lead single “TV” and album opener “Never Going Back” delivering dynamic gusts of catchiness through spirited verses and lively choruses.
“Most of the album was written knowing that my relationship with my girlfriend was about to end, so it carries a lot of that weight,” Even Kjelby tells Atwood Magazine. “Now And Them is me thinking of the people that once were a big part of my life and that I all of a sudden lost contact with. You never know, or at least you very seldom know when is the last time you will kiss or hug your boy- or girlfriend, and sometimes it’s very hard to think back on that last time. After a while though, most former relationships will leave you with the good times, not the bad ones.”
It’s one thing to find sobering acceptance in finality, and another thing to still be able to smile in light of such an end. It is with this in mind that Great News pull off a stunning thematic and musical balance across their second record, bringing their audience through life’s dark and light moments with thrilling songs that inspire, exhilarate, and keep us ignited from start to finish. From the moment they take off with the groovy, rip-roaring “Never Going Back,” to the second they land with Now and Them‘s tender and soothing conclusion “It Stays the Same,” Great News stay true to their name – giving us plenty of reasons to smile and spread the good word.
Experience the full record via our exclusive stream, and peek inside Great News’ Now and Them with Atwood Magazine as the and take us track-by-track through the music and lyrics of their sophomore album!
Stream: ‘Now and Them’ – Great News
:: Inside Now and Them ::
Never Going Back
Trying to forget someone I love, and not wanting to forget even if it’s what is best for me. This track is kind of an homage to our previous song “Told” as it’s a straightforward rock tune. I feel it’s easy to really get something of my heart if the beat is as straight as possible. I actually used some harmochord samples (accordion like instrument) for the chorus, and I’m happy about how the hook is both sad and soothing at the same time.
Greedy Little Thing
It’s about our neverending need to measure success and well-being in materials. As straight as it gets in songwriting, I thought a lot of playing this live when I wrote it. Can this be as fun playing as it sounds? Yes it can. A little nod to the strokes.
The story about the dude who doesn’t realize the full consequence of him banging on national television.I was goofing around with the chords and immediately wanted to tell a story of someone spoiled not thinking before doing. and the concept of reality shows has annoyed me for a while so it was a perfect match. Soundwise i wanted to capture the shamelessness of a lot of 80’s music even if i’m kind of done with that sound.
Stranger In The Hallway
About being totally lost in someone you don’t know, but only seen on a bus or in a cafe. This is the sound I wanna work with, to take Great news into another dimension. I wanted this song to feel and sound very different from everything we’ve done before. So there’s no guitar on this track, the string instrument is actually a harpsichord. Had a blast working on the drums, as they are a bunch of Alesis and Linndrum samples to get that old school feel.
About escaping reality and feeling lonely. This was recorded in 2018 and was the first single after our debut album “Wonderfault”, but we remixed and mastered it and put it on the album. I was really keen on taking the band to a different soundscape, and this is sort of the transmission track from ‘Wonderfault’ to ‘Now and Them’. It’s personal I guess.
The One Where They Don’t Care
Partying when I’m depressed: thinking the solution to my problems, partying and having fun. It makes me feel like I’m dancing with silhouettes. Or that I’m nothing but a shadow. This was recorded in the same spirit as “Stranger In The Hallway” moving the band away from its original pop rock shell and into a more lush RnB setting where minimalism is key. I’ve never used a Wah pedal before and I probably never will again, but it was fun trying it.
The frustration of living with someone you love and not feeling safe, like it’s about to end anytime. Restless eyes is probably the most live sounding track on the album, i wanted to get a folkish sound without going totally bluegrass. Acoustic guitar through tape recorders and alot of string synths like old Solina samples to give it a living sound.
I wanted to be just as good as all the other kids I grew up with. but i was always different. I’m inspired by a lot of different artists through the years, and since the chord progression in this song almost sounds sampled from a specific song I assure you it is not. That chord progression reminds you of many songs and leaves you with a kind of nostalgic feeling. I want it to sound timeless so why not use a timeless chord progression and make it sound like those who inspired me.
Speak Your Mind
About trying to change me into someone that fits better in your idea of how life should be This track is inspired by the sound of Jacco Gardner, a dude from Holland who makes psychedelic rock. I want to challenge myself in my songwriting, not having the standard builds and part of a track. verse, pre chorus, chorus and bridge repeat. This track is just an intro verse and ending. really happy with the beat, great work from the rhythm section
It Stays The Same
No matter how bad i’m hurt or how angry i’ve been my love for you will never change. I love how this track starts at zero with completely dry vocals and a piano and ends up in a Hans Zimmerish landscape of a movie score.
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📸 © Jonathan Vivaas Kise
Now and Them
an album by Great News