Like a prairie storm rolling through, Now It’s Overhead’s new release, Dark Light Daybreak, taps Andy LeMaster’s extensive production talents to spawn a robust drencher of an album. LeMaster, a touted engineer and multi-instrumentalist teamed up with members of Azure Ray and drummer Chad Leverett for NIO’s third album, and devised a collection of sweeping rock tracks smattering a variety of moods and rhythms.
Above all, LeMaster’s production and songwriting skills are on display. Dark Light Daybreak shows off prairie rock with expansive synth, murky jams, and elastic vocals worthy of the new Omaha we’ve come to love with Saddle Creek Records. These tunes are catchy but sedate, slightly haunting, and convey roadtrip introspection.
“Let the Sirens Rest” opens the album with a sleepy-eyed warble broken like daylight by severed chords and piercing notes. “Walls” is urgent, with ominous drums and a panting chorus. A majority of the album, though, features LeMaster’s protracted, airy vocals. In “Night Vision”, he serenades over Rhodesian droplets and distorted backing wails, one of the calmer tracks. “Type A” is a nearly-optimistic, down-stroke jam that rivals giddier acts. NIO has a fairly wide range of tempos, despite an overriding dusky mood.
Overall, it’s technically intricate, slightly subdued, inviting but biting fuzzrocktronica. It’s powerful, frenetic, calming, and challenging all in one place, and definitely cool enough to take a trip down an open highway with.