Three years since Daisy: Why we’re prepared to wait for Brand New

September 22, 2012

Today a grim anniversary passes. It’s unlikely there will be many ceremonies, no minute of silence, no flags at half mast. There may be some tears, a hand held tight by a loved one, a melancholy head held in trembling hands – but these will be behind closed doors. Even those who do mark the day, uttering a quiet prayer to the heavens, will not wallow. They will pause, then move on.

September 22 marks three years to the day Brand New released their last album, Daisy. Scoff at my calender crossing if you like but worse bands have gone shorter periods of time without new material and had to suffer baying fans whining for more. And Brand New aren’t just any Tom, Dick or Harry, they’re the alternative music’s Lady Gaga. They too seemed to have developed a die-hard group of followers, a mature, music-savvy, discerning band of Monsters. Or Beliebers? No.

Brand New’s fans are not just people who like their music, but a cult. A flippin’ cult. Sort of. A cult that talks in lyrics and cuts its hair in time with Jesse. And these members of the cult have had three years of radio silence as far as tracklistings, artwork or studio time goes. But, while they might shed a tear or have a little sing-along to Bought A Bride, they would not dream of forcing Brand New’s hand prematurely.

This is not because they do not want more. God no, they want more. It’s because these fans (myself included, so, really it’s we)… It’s because WE are respectful enough of Jesse (Lacey, that is) and co and understand how delicate and intricate their musical progression has been from debut Your Favourite Weapon in 2001 to the present day that we would not dare ask for more than they have given us already. We are so smitten and feel so lucky to have been given a single album, a single song, a single note, of theirs that anything else is an invaluable bonus. Had Jesse (we are as close as we sound, sort of) decided to end YFW after seven minutes, we would have solemnly accepted his decision without protest.

But, with love comes fear. After 2006’s The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me, an operatic tour de force, we were anxious for Daisy. Now, after Daisy, we’re cautious. We, the fans and the band, are at a crossroad. All thousands and millions of us are huddled together at this junction of musical life waiting with baited breath for someone in the band to pipe up and say, “I think it’s this way.” We will move as one.

The passion of Brand New fans might look bizarre and pathetic, and silly, and a little over the top, to outsiders, but it is warranted. Though the Long Island band’s incredible musical progression is widely recognised – from basement punk rock to introspective geniuscore – and emotional attachment to lyrics and themes is not unusual in such a genre, it is Jesse’s sincerity and authenticity in anything the band puts its mind to which has kept fans enthralled. I could reel off the clichés about pouring his heart and soul into the music and all that jazz, but it’s true. When the Devil and God demos leaked, Jesse and the band were so upset they scrapped eight of ten of the tracks and started afresh. Little sneaky extra album there for us. Shhh.

This might sound like the transcript of a drunken 4am monologue, so let’s try and conclude. When Brand New decide their route, we will follow. But until Brand New have picked up the pieces left strewn across the musical landscape by the self destruction of Daisy, we can have little clue what direction it will be. So ferocious was Daisy, so unsure of footing, so raw and scared, it is impossible to say what the next step in this musical journey will be. It is this uncertainty, which makes us willing to wait.

In Daisy’s title track, Jesse sings “if the sky opened up and started pouring rain, like He knew it was time to start things over again”. Daisy was a biblical flood, drowning everything that came before. The band have now been rinsed clean. And though it has taken time, and it will take more, I, we, Brand New’s Monsters, are confident their next step will be devastatingly brilliant.



  1. Reblogged this on Art of Stumbling and commented:
    Yes. Exactly.

  2. Fallen utterly in love with this band, esp the last three albums. And most especially the Devil and God, but also Daisy. Thanks for the reminder…I think.

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