Propelled by a stint as the support act for Fall Out Boy and Paramore on the Monumentour this past summer, and a well-received sophomore album, A Bad Girl in Harlem, New Politics got America’s toes a-tapping with the singles “Harlem” and “Tonight You’re Perfect,” both of which were staples on alternative rock radio.
The band’s latest single, “Everywhere I go (Kings & Queens),” has come out in the midst of their own headlining tour. The new track feels less pop-punky and a bit rawer. “I think we really bridged the gap from our first album and second album to the third,” says lead singer David Boyd. “I think it’s a great balance of the two. It’s like edgier.”
That song, as well as several others came about quite naturally while on tour according to Boyd. This happened even though they hadn’t planned on working on new material while on the road. “We didn’t think that much about writing,” he explains. “We were on tour and having a good time and writing came kind of naturally to us. We had bunch of ideas and we were writing every day.” Soon they had a sizeable collection of songs which they sent to their manager. “He called me up and said ‘dude, this is insane there are so many great songs here. We probably have a whole album here.’” Popping in and out of studios while touring, the band recorded the single as well as few other tracks. The album titled Viking, will tentatively be released in February of 2015.
The album’s title of course refers to Boyd and bandmate Soren Hansen’s homeland of Denmark (drummer Louis Vecchio is American, having replaced former member Poul Amaliel). Oddly, the band isn’t widely known in Scandinavia. “They play our songs,” says Boyd, “but we haven’t had much attention there.” That’s probably due to the fact that they have lived in Brooklyn since 2009. “Our family and friends kind of know. It’s interesting. It will hit them eventually,” he adds with a laugh.
At Bogart’s in Cincinnati, the band’s faithful ranged in age from late teen to post-college and a few beyond. The trio did not disappoint. “Tonight You’re Perfect” was first out of the gate and properly set the tone. The band rocketed through “Berlin,” “Die for You,” and the excellent “Give Me Hope” before chatting with the audience.
Being based in Brooklyn, the band does certainly have its American influences, most notably the Beastie Boys. The lads reference “No Sleep ‘til Brooklyn” on the new single and did a punchy cover of “Sabotage” mid-show. While that song went over quite well, the rest of the set demonstrated New Politics penchant for writing great power-punk pop songs. They have loads of them. A particular treat was Soren taking a seat behind a stand-up piano and crooning “Stuck on You” to the delight of the crowd. As a live act overall they’re really tough to beat as well. During the encore, “Harlem,” walked across the crowd and then crowd surfed back to the stage, which brought down the house.
9 Danishes out of 10!
Photos: Hannah Wilson
PF Wilson has been writing about music, TV, radio, and movies for over 20 years. He has also written about sports, business, and politics with his work appearing in Cincinnati CityBeat, The Houston Press, Cleveland Scene, Cincinnati Magazine, Cincy Magazine, Atomic Ranch, and many more. Check out his podcast PF’s Tape Recorder available from Podbean or in iTunes.