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Six years have passed since New Jersey's The Early November released what, at the time, appeared to be their final album. Sprawling across three discs, The Mother, The Mechanic & The Path was a conceptual, grandiose and challenging record. Challenging for listeners but even more so, for the band that created it. Plagued with recording and creative struggles, it left the band feeling drained and frustrated. More so than anyone, it left songwriter and front-man, Ace Enders, feeling defeated. While proud of the record and response, he knew that it was not what he originally dreamed it would be. Less than seven months after it’s release, the band decided to call it day and announced their “indefinite hiatus” in March of 2007.
Since then, much has happened. Enders immediately set out with a new solo moniker, Ace Enders & A Million Different People, determined to do everything “right” this time. In the music industry, that includes going to Hollywood to work with a hotshot producer and make a “hit” record. A deeply personal and sensitive songwriter, Enders found the experience less than gratifying to have his songs manipulated and contorted. As someone who has always produced their own material, the last straw came when he was asked to leave his own session only to come back and find a song completely re-arranged and re-recorded. The final product was ultimately scrapped and Enders vowed to never again make a record on someone else’s terms. After re-gaining his confidence and recording independence, he went on to release multiple fulllengths and EP’s under multiple project names (…And A Million Different People, I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody’s Business, solo) while keeping a continuous tour schedule.
The other members stayed active as well. Guitarist Joseph Marro moved to California and joined indie-pop band HelloGoodbye. Drummer Jeff Kummer released a solo album, completed college and began working in television production. Bassist Sergio Anello toured with Enders for a period. Guitarist William Lugg worked in organic farming and even dug graves at a point. While still remaining close friends, the members appeared to have completely moved on from the band. Just a couple months before they all took the stage again at the sold-out Electric Factory in Philadelphia, an Early November reunion seemed to be about the most unlikely thing to would happen. Even before playing a second time, the old friends knew that they wanted to make a record together and be a band again.
Things had changed for the little underdog band from the farming town of Hammonton, NJ during all those years. They found themselves with new purpose, drive and knowledge. Having signed their first recording contract at the ripe, old ages of 17, 18 & 19, they knew what they did and did not want to do this time around. They found the perfect partner in Portland, OR label Rise Records and set out to record a new album in Ace Enders recently built, Living Room Recording studio with Enders at the helm.
In Currents is a record that could have only been made by this band, at this specific point in time. The Early November had to have the experiences they did in the past 10 years which are documented on this new album. The good and the bad, the ups and the downs. The tastes of success and the crushing disappointments. The band has grown up, lived life and seen both its beauty and dismay. An atmosphere and tension hovers over the entire record leaving one unsure whether they should smile or sigh. In Currents is an introspective and thought provoking record displaying a gamut of emotional territory. In the opening track, A Stain On The Carpet, Enders recollects a regretful evening and confronts the threat of losing someone to dementia. The alt-country tinged, The Smell Of This Place, reminds himself and his loved ones that those very ups and downs have been worth the ride and are responsible for where and who they are now. In the short but poignant Digital Age, Enders addresses an issue facing every musician; how to survive in a industry that seems to be abandoning its art.
With their first new record in six years, The Early November have made an album that strongly and positively represents their entire career. The raw and youthful attitude from 2003’s, The Rooms Too Cold blends with the ambitious, sonic experimentation of The Mother, The Mechanic & The Path. Enders describes In Currents as “a journey through life’s joys and struggles” and “being pulled in a direction you can’t control…like an ocean current or the flow of electricity”. It’s a scenario everyone in this world is in and can relate to. It’s not about where those currents will eventually take you, it’s about the journey you’ll have and the experiences you’ll take with you that matter the most.