At the nucleus of Now It's Overhead is the songwriting of multi-instrumentalist and recording engineer Andy LeMaster, who has long lent his talents to Bright Eyes and whose Chase Park Transduction studio has recorded the likes of REM, Drive-By Truckers, The Glands, Chris Martin, and a host of Saddle Creek label mates.
Since the first, self-titled Now It's Overhead release in 2001, LeMaster has crafted his compositions with the help of Azure Ray's Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor, as well as drummer Clay Leverett, with whom Andy has played music for nearly two decades. This combination of talents has lent itself fluidly to the range of LeMaster's songwriting, the diversity of which shined throughout 2004's critically lauded Fall Back Open. 2006 finds Fink, Taylor, and Leverett in the studio with LeMaster yet again, putting the finishing touches on Now It's Overhead's third full-length, Dark Light Daybreak.
Now It's Overhead has more than once evoked the term "dreamy" Dark Light Daybreak is not exactly an exception - it's awash in the band's signature moody layers and wall of guitar. But if the previous two records were dream-like, Dark Light Daybreak is more akin to waking up.
Providing by one turn a desert-highway soundtrack, by another, a heartrending nostalgia for a moment just past the edge of memory, Dark Light Daybreak is sharp around the edges, with each song's elements being as distinct as the whole. A syncopated beat pops against an insistent bass line. The comforting patter of a keyboard is unsettlingly punctuated by overdriven, discordant voices. And throughout, Andy LeMaster's reedy vocals, as diverse an instrument as any on the album, are as true in a fragile harmony as they are on a soaring, cathartic chorus. Whether delivering an acidic indictment or a hopeful sentiment, voice combines with lyrics to speak the collective experience of individuals.
Now It's Overhead's latest offering sees LeMaster's seasoned production skills synthesizing songwriting and recording; letting space and clarity serve as a thread of tension that runs through the album, unifying songs that range from stark to symphonic, buoyant to tragic. The range of Leverett's drumming and the variations of Taylor and Fink's vocals shine through, adding to each song the expertise of musicians who stand back, listen, then bring exactly what needs to be there. Dark Light Daybreak runs the songwriting gamut, leaving not a moment to be missed.
LeMaster and friends have toured the United States and Europe alongside such bands as REM, Rilo Kiley, The Faint, Tilly and the Wall, Desaparecidos, and Azure Ray.