LA Jangle-Pop Band Army Navy Return With First Single In Five Years
Los Angeles-based indie-pop band Army Navy are back with a brand new single titled "Seismic," a youthful blast of romantic and wistful indie-pop falling in line with the band's sound found across three full-length albums, numerous EPs & singles and feature films such as Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, Shrek Forever After and The Way Way Back. A step forward in production and sound, "Seismic" follows the band's 2018 lost track, "Her Makeup," and features core members Justin Kennedy (lead vocals, guitar), multi-instrumentalist Louie Schultz and long-term producer/engineer Adam Lasus (Yo La Tengo, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah).
"We had such a fun time and we were reminded of the special chemistry we have together, and it felt very exciting again," said Kennedy of reforming the band. "We started working on new songs when we had the time and found that, with just the two of us as the main core of the band, it freed us up in the studio to try a lot of new things."
As a track that emptied out of Kennedy, "Seismic" took shape rather quickly with a certain type of honesty typical of his songwriting. "It was one of those songs that felt like it was already written in my mind somewhere and I just had to draw it out," he continues. "It's really not usually like this; songs can be a grueling ordeal at times - writing and rewriting, chipping away at them for ages. But thankfully this one felt like it fell out of me fully formed."
Army Navy was born in the bedroom of Justin Kennedy, who in his early days played with Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie) in Seattle's Pinwheel. Having relocated to Los Angeles after Pinwheel broke up, Kennedy began focusing on his new project and assembled Army Navy with multi-instrumentalist Louie Schultz joining swiftly after hearing Kennedy's home demos. Without a permanent drummer at the time of recording the self-titled debut, Army Navy boasted drumming by the legendary Pete Thomas of Elvis Costello and The Attractions who had been a fan of the band. From there, the band would find a permanent drummer in Douglas Randallwho would perform and record with the band for the next several years. Army Navy would go on to record more material in the form of its sophomore album, The Last Place, The Crushed EP, and its final full-length offering, 2014's The Wilderness Inside.
The band had taken a hiatus after the release of The Wilderness Inside, but in 2018, Kennedy, Schultz, and Lasus started talking about possibly coming together to put out a new song to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the band's acclaimed self-titled debut album. Around the same time when these discussions were happening, Kennedy's nephew found a disc of demos from years ago that featured a forgotten gem of a tune titled "Her Makeup," which has since become Kennedy's personal favorite from the band's entire catalog.
Known for their hilarious music videos ("My Thin Sides" feat. comedian Paul Scheer, "Saints, "Ode To Janice Melt" feat. Jason Ritter), Kennedy began to think of a visual to compliment "Her Makeup" and tapped a childhood friend who he used to work with at a video store back in Bellingham, WA. Working at the store, they'd watch a ton of bad '80s horror movies together and it spawned a few films of their own. The clips they made were for them and their friends - who are all featured actors in "Her Makeup" - and are such a great document of that time and place in their life - youth and pure joy.
Stay tuned for more Army Navy music and news in 2020.