Following the band’s 2012 tour DeVotchKa frontman Nick Urata was left feeling conflicted. On one hand, his band was as popular as ever, playing their critically-acclaimed songs from over seven albums to fans at sold- out shows around the globe, and Urata was enjoying a burgeoning career as a film score composer, with a GRAMMY nomination already under his belt. But on the night of DeVotchKa’s final show of the tour, onstage in an enormous arena in Mexico, Urata belted out the first few lines only to discover his microphone powered off—a simple mistake, but one that would later cause him to reflect deeply on his stake in life.
Following the tour, the band—Urata (vocals, guitars, Theremin, trumpet, piano), Jeanie Schroder (acoustic bass, sousaphone), Shawn King (drums, percussion, trumpet), and Tom Hagerman (violin, viola, accordion, piano)—enjoyed a series of gigs at smaller venues. Urata spent those shows both reconnecting with his audience on a more intimate level and rediscovering his love for his craft. It was a necessary moment that inspired him to begin work on a new DeVotchKa album—a process that would take a lot longer than anyone anticipated, but that would prove essential.
Urata began work on a new album, using that intimate dynamic with his fans as motivation. Despite a strong work ethic that compels him to work each and every day, the writing process proved to be a slow yet cathartic burn. (Naturally, his film work was also keeping his hands full — since the GRAMMY-nominated score to Little Miss Sunshine, Urata has composed the scores for myriad films including Crazy Stupid Love, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, and Paddington. Most recently, he composed the original theme song and score for the Netflix Original A Series of Unfortunate Events.)
Urata pulled from old notebooks and half-formed ideas as much as he conjured fresh material from the present. But in writing lyrics he has found that nearly every idea came from the past— despite the tense in which he sings. “I have a file in the back of my head with things that have happened to me, and that’s where I get my songs. I’m probably not alone in that. A lot of people think the song is happening now—‘you must be going through a horrible breakup right now.’ Really, I’m just getting in touch with the past. When you add music, it can take you right back there. Music is the great coaxer of those feelings, and that’s why people connect to songs. Music opens you up.”
As for the album’s title, Urata was inspired by yet another period of transition, albeit one that occurs each and every day: the passing of day into night. It’s a fitting motif for his process, a constant reminder that toil eventually makes way for transport.
MEET & GREET VIP Ticket Includes:
Private post show performance (One song)
Signed Tour Poster