Nap Eyes will release their new album, “Snapshot of a Beginner”, their most concentrated and hi-fi effort to date, on March 27th via Jagjaguwar / Royal Mountain, in partnership with Paradise of Bachelors. Throughout the album, there’s an immediately noticeable leap in arrangement and muscle, one that still holds the raw, nervous energy and the earnest, self-deprecating poetry that make Nap Eyes an enduring cult favorite. The music still brings to mind the bucolic ennui of the Silver Jews and Daniel Johnston’s jittery naïveté, but the new sheen and maturity also now brings to mind the wide-angle appeal of The Jayhawks and the addictive brightness of Green Day’s Kerplunk!.

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, 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.

‘Mark Zuckerberg’ from ’Snapshot of a Beginner’ by Nap Eyes, available March 27th, 2020 on Jagjaguwar

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