Individual self-portraits of The New Year, featuring (clockwise from top left) Matt Kadane, Bubba Kadane, Chris Brokaw and Mike Donofrio.

Individual self-portraits of The New Year, featuring (clockwise from top left) Matt Kadane, Bubba Kadane, Chris Brokaw and Mike Donofrio.

/Courtesy The New Year

Last week, the New Year, the indie band led by Bubba Kadane and his brother Matt, released the magnificent Snow, the celebrated group's first album since 2008's self-titled beauty. Though this album is new to us, it's been a long time coming for the New Year.

The brothers Kadane, who first gained notoriety as the driving force behind Dallas-based Bedhead, a group widely acknowledged as pioneers of the slow-core sound, have been at work on Snow for more than seven years now. For those paying attention, the wait isn't shocking for a few key reasons.

There's the fact that the brothers live far apart: Matt's living in Ithaca, New York; Bubba's here in Dallas; while drummer Chris Brokaw lives in Massachusetts and bassist Mike Donofrio resides in Vermont. And after touring behind that last record, the guys worked on different projects, including Overseas, a sweet collaboration between the Kadanes, singer-songwriter David Bazan and former Centro-matic leader Will Johnson in 2013.

While some new New Year songs were being worked on occasionally throughout in different cities and studios, it was years before the group hunkered down to hammer home more than bits and pieces. 

But it's the band's signature: slow, melodic sound that fits the lengthy wait for a new album.

Like many great songs from any of the Kadanes' bands, patience is a virtue. Look no farther than "Myths" -- the spacey, almost six-minute tune that gives way to a sweeping climax -- as proof that the journey is a reward.

"That song came into some sort of existence in 2000," Matt Kadane explains over the phone from his New York home, where he works as a college history professor. "It was three times as fast back then, but the melody we ended up with is the one in the song back then. We wanted it to feel expansive and spaced-out, but we're not making ambient music, so it was important for something to happen and for the song to have a point."

That's an extreme example, but there are songs -- not demos, but finished recordings -- that were recorded as far back as 2009 featured on the finished product, which hit store shelves last week. Mainly recorded near Denton in Argyle, at Echo Lab Studios, with some sessions from Steve Albini's Electrical Audio in Chicago and even some houses in Dallas and Pasadena, Calif., the youngest songs on the album were recorded in the winter of 2015.

For some artists, the pressure of a ticking clock helps create something fantastic, but New Year offers a gorgeous example of a group secure with its place, relishing time. From play to stop, Snow is an immaculate collection, cohesive in spite of its nomadic, pre-release lifespan.

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"We were hesitant to introduce the information on how long it took to make this record," Kadane says. "We didn't want to give the people who may care about the record the idea that this isn't well-connected in-terms of sound. There was some real Frankenstein stuff going on, but I don't think you can tell."

There have been a couple of prominent developments since the New Year last released an album: the glut of '90s bands reuniting, for one, and how streaming has become the dominant way people listen to music these days. Even after all of Bedhead's albums were re-released on remastered vinyl a couple of years back, getting that band together for the sake of marketing or simply nostalgia never really occurred to Kadane.

One thing that hasn't changed for Kadane over the years is that a quality album still matters. 

"Despite all of the changes in the music industry that we could've never seen coming 20 years ago," he says, "the thing we still like is a full album of great songs. That's deep in our collective psyche because great albums count for a lot."

Snow, the new album from the New Year, can be found at all major online retailers and at D-FW area record stores including Josey Records, Good Records and Spinster Records.

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