Now, Now with the Lonely Forest
9 p.m. Saturday at Young Avenue Deli, 2119 Young. Cover: $10. For more information, call 901-278-0034, or visit youngavenuedeli.com.
These days, the social networking site Myspace seems almost as nostalgically quaint as a pet rock or AOL. But the Minneapolis indie-pop trio Now, Now, who perform Saturday at Young Avenue Deli, say they owe much of their current success to the platform.
“I’m just realizing now how much of my current life revolves around Myspace,” says lead singer/guitarist/keyboardist Cacie Dalager, recalling the band’s early days from their tour van on a recent swing through Milwaukee.
Dalager and Now, Now drummer/backing vocalist Bradley Hale first met in a high school marching band in 2003 in the suburb of Blaine, Minn. They soon started collaborating, writing pop songs, though Dalager dismisses their earliest efforts.
“The band is very different from what we initially started writing, which was just really horrible acoustic songs,” Dalager says. “Just so tacky — horrible, horrible acoustic songs.”
Like a lot of bands at the time, Dalager and Hale posted their bedroom recordings on Myspace with little or no intention of anyone outside of their immediate circle of friends ever hearing them. But six years ago, after a brief hiatus from posting songs, the duo’s latest offerings caught the attention of respected Minneapolis indie label Afternoon Records.
Dalager says the validation of a label deal, even with a small local indie, inspired them to buckle down and take their craft more seriously, turning from the clichéd folk of their early days toward an introspective-but-muscular synth-driven indie-rock sound.
“That was the initial push for us actually writing for a purpose instead of us just hoping that someday we would be writing for a purpose,” Dalager says of the deal.
With an outlet for their music, the band’s next Myspace moment came with their sudden need for a name. The pair ended up turning to a nonsensical Myspace typo from their earliest days that had persisted for years as an inside joke: Now, Now Every Children.
“We just called it that not really thinking about it or anything. Just, ‘Hah, this was a joke when we were 16,’” Dalager recalls. “Now we’re kind of stuck with it.”
After a handful of EPs, Afternoon Records in 2008 put out the band’s debut full-length, Cars, which got them attention from National Public Radio and earned their dreamy lo-fi music favorable comparisons to bands like Eisley and Metric.
Now, Now Every Children was ascending, but Myspace was not. Still, the site had one last gift to give the band. Dalager met Maine resident Jess Abbott on the site, and the two struck up a tight musical and personal friendship that culminated in Abbott moving to Minnesota to join the band in 2010.
“We just liked her guitar parts and stuff, and it just kind of happened,” Dalager says. “I knew her well, so it wasn’t someone that I barely knew. It was a gradual-enough process where it didn’t seem like a big step to take.”
The trio dropped the second half of their name to become just Now, Now, and later that year released the EP Neighbors, their first attempt at making new music with Abbott in the fold. Then, in March of last year, the sonically richer full-length Threads got the band signed to Trans Records, the esteemed Atlantic Records imprint of Death Cab For Cutie guitarist Chris Walla.
“That was the one label we had specifically mentioned that ‘I want to be on this label more than anything else,’” Dalager says. “If we’re not on this label, then I just don’t care.’”
The label affiliation has paid off. After receiving rave reviews for Threads, the band made its television debut last year on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”
Dalager expects even better things, citing the fact that Threads was still largely made up of pre-Abbott compositions.
“I feel like with each release we’re figuring out more and more,” she says. “It felt like Threads was the first time we’d come together and worked together, but I feel like this next album will be a step further in terms of all three of us writing together.”