Reviews

You May Already Be Dreaming

Author: Matt Fernandes
04/30/2008 | St. Louis Today | www.stltoday.com | Live Show Preview
Neva Dinova, a veteran indie folk band out of Omaha, pays a visit to the Bluebird tonight. Their stop here is part of a rigorous touring schedule, currently with Vancouver's Ladyhawk, that will take them to New York next week, and then to the West Coast just a few weeks later.

The quintet, named after lead singer Jake Bellows' grandmother, is promoting its third LP, "You May Already Be Dreaming." It was released a few weeks back on Saddle Creek Records, its first for the Omaha label that is connected to Bright Eyes, Tokyo Police Club and Cursive.

Co-founders Bellows and bassist Heath Koontz have been writing songs together since the early nineties, favoring a mellow, rural vibe with moaning guitars and strong, upper register vocals a la Built to Spill. It should be a familiar sound to fans of St. Louis' Grace Basement.

"We tried to make a conscious effort to use the musical spaces correctly," said Koontz of the new album. "There are some real sparse numbers in there. We tried not to fill up every bit of a song with three guitars going just because we have three doesn't mean we have to use them."

"Dreaming" took two years to record, due to a flood that damaged their equipment and a severely damaged eardrum Bellows sustained in a barroom fight (whoops.)

"He had stopped into a bar to grab a beer. Some guy was being a jerk, Jake blew him off and the guy blindsided him as he was leaving," said Koontz. "There were other delays, but it worked out nice because, by the time we started recording, we had written another batch of decent songs."

Like many other Omaha musicians, Bellows has collaborated and toured with Bright Eyes over the years. However, Neva Dinova is still their main priority after all these years.

"We love playing music if you love making music, its easy to keep going," said Koontz. "There have been a few times where Jake's wanted to punch me. Just twice, thought, and he's never actually punched me, so it's been alright."