Inland Empire’s Indie outfit, New Manners, released their sophomore EP Give Me Your Bones, last Friday off of New York City based label The Native Sound. Anthony Lujan, Nick Camacho, Judcody Limon, Loren James, and Dave Trautz, create an album that tugs on your heartstrings with memorable melodies, and simple storytelling embedded within the lyrics. Revolving around the idea of giving it your all, Give Me Your Bones echoes with the innocence of love, life struggles, and the aftermath of thoughts that accompanies, noting the constant questioning within the album; whereas in the end the answer seems blatantly simple. How do you show someone you love them? How do you show love to anything you want? You give it your all. You give it your bones.
As heavy as the idea of giving someone your bones, and expecting the same in return, the EP is filled with light-heartedness, which makes it addicting to sing alongside Camacho. The EP opens up with the quintets’ single, “So Nice,” which is soaked in indie melodic tempo, and becomes a perfect introduction to the album. As the album unravels, the stages of being with someone, and slowly getting to the “want” of a human becomes apparent, heard on “Window,” and then again on the pick-me-up track, “Do Better.”
Despite the honesty felt here, depth isn’t really shown until “On and On.” This track in particular seemed to rise above the rest by it’s construction and transparency. The song’s parallelism, from start to finish, ties into the never ending “continuation” feeling, heard in the chorus. Camacho’s genuine recollection sets the scene, as instrumentation begins to build: “We fell in love with our costumes on / surrounded by laughter / once again in a parking garage / you know what comes after.” From thought to thought, drumming patterns change, and clinches the whole song together, which becomes a standout feature on all tracks.
Following on this wave of construction, the self-titled track “Give Me Your Bones” closes the chapter, by once again questioning- “Was it worth it all?” Percussion, guitars, bass, and vocals are at it’s best on this track, truly powering the sentiment of giving it your all. The idea of stripping it all away, to the need of wanting another’s bones, is beautifully wise, and at times even bittersweet. New Manners’ two years spent in perfecting their 6 tracks is clearly reflected in sound, from their clean production, to their emotional plunge, which can easily be hidden within their indie-pop sound. I could go on and on and on and on, but that’ll take forever.