Nap Eyes will release their new album, Snapshot of a Beginner, their most concentrated and hi-fi effort to date, on March 27th via Jagjaguwar / Royal Mountain, in partnership with Paradise of Bachelors. Throughout the album, there’s an immediately noticeable leap in arrangement and muscle, one that still holds the raw, nervous energy and the earnest, self-deprecating poetry that make Nap Eyes an enduring cult favorite. The music still brings to mind the bucolic ennui of the Silver Jews and Daniel Johnston’s jittery naïveté, but the new sheen and maturity also now brings to mind the wide-angle appeal of The Jayhawks and the addictive brightness of Green Day’s Kerplunk!.
 
Lead single “Mark Zuckerberg” is a hi-fi jangle-pop earworm that, at its outset, sounds like it could be the theme song from Party of Five. Less a takedown of any one specific, capitalist tech fascist than it is a poem about the confounding and beautiful swirl of modern life, it is their thoughtful, incisive Hit for The People. “Transcendence is all around us,” Chapman repeats, a freeing incantation and a gift to us all as the coda slows and expands.
 
On the video, the band notes: “People are scared of Mark Zuckerberg. You look at him before Congress and think, ‘Is this the bogeyman? Is he a CIA plant? Can he read my mind with some sort of God-mode search feature in all my chat transcripts?’ This video leads us to believe that Mark wants to enjoy and surveil whatever world he inhabits, whether it’s starting a band with ghastly apparitions in the spirit realm or changing size according to his whim while observing natural and urban landscapes with equal awe. He wants you to accept his friend request and let him watch over you. ‘When there was only one set of footprints in the sand…’”
 
Almost all the songs of Nap Eyes are whittled into their final form from frontman Nigel Chapman’s unspooling, 20-minute voice-and-guitar free-writing sessions. Each member — drummer Seamus Dalton, bassist Josh Salter and guitarist Brad Loughead — then plays a crucial role in song development, composing around the idiosyncratic structures and directing the overall sound and feel of the songs.
 
Until now, that final song construction and recording has been mostly done live in a room. But for Snapshot of a Beginner, the band went to The National’s nuevo-legendary upstate NY Long Pond Studio, working with producers Jonathan Low (Big Red Machine, The National) and James Elkington(Steve Gunn, Joan Shelley), the latter of whom also did pre-production arrangement work with the band. Never has Nap Eyes sounded more ferocious. It took them a long time and a long practice to reach this artistic zen, but one gets the feeling throughout Snapshot of a Beginner that this balance is going to hold.

Nap Eyes Tour Dates:
Wed. March 4 – Toronto, ON @ Opera House %
Thu. March 5 – Montreal, QC @ Theatre Fairmount %
Fri. March 6 – Boston, MA @ The Sinclair %
Sat. March 7 – New York, NY @ Brooklyn Steel %
Sun. March 8 – Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts %
Mon. March 9 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat %
Wed. March 11 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle %
Thu. March 12 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West %
Fri. March 13 – Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge %
Sat. March 14 – St. Louis, MO @ Blueberry Hill %
Sun. March 15 – Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room %
Mon. March 16 – Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater %
Tue. March 17 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge %
Thu. March 19 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos %
Fri. March 20 – Vancouver, BC @ Vogue Theatre %
Sun. March 22 – Victoria, BC @ Lucky Bar (tickets)
Wed. March 25 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge (tickets)
Fri. March 27 – San Francisco, CA @ Cafe Du Nord (tickets)
Sat. March 28 – Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Bar (tickets)
Sun. March 29 – San Diego, CA @ Casbah (tickets)
Mon. March 30 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar (tickets)
Wed. April 1 – Austin, TX @ Barracuda (tickets)
Thu. April 2 – Dallas, TX @ Three Links (tickets)
Sat. April 4 – Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room (tickets)
Sun. April 5 – Urbana, IL @ Rose Bowl Tavern (tickets)
Mon. April 6 – Columbus, OH @ Rumba Cafe (tickets)
Wed. April 15 – London, UK @ The Moth Club
Thu. April 16 – Liverpool, UK @ Leaf
Fri. April 17 – Glasgow, UK @ The Hug and Pint
Sat. April 18 – Leeds, UK @ Hyde Park Book Club
Sun. April 19 – Birmingham, UK @ Hare and Hounds
Mon. April 20 – Brighton, UK @ The Hope & Ruin
Wed. April 22 – Paris, FR @ Le Point Ephemere
Thu. April 23 – Brussels, BE @ Volta
Fri. April 24 – Rotterdam, NL @ V11
Sat. April 25 – Utrecht, NL @ Ekko
 
% = w/ Destroyer