Ever More Nest released its latest album, Out Here Now, last summer but felt that this song needed to stand on its own.
"Happy New Year" begins tense and slow, a bitter examination of a time when the world felt limitless and how the boundaries seem to be narrowing now. Yet, the song abruptly switches halfway through, finding joy in the callowness of youth and the strength Wilburn and her community have gained since.
"One of my favorite photographs of a particular friend and I was taken on New Year's Eve as we walked our way to a giant bonfire made of drying Christmas trees," she recalls. "The old Mid-City New Orleans tradition had gotten unmanageable by that year, and it was a crazy fun and wild thing to witness. New Year's is such a strange holiday—celebrating the passage of time, a sometimes joyful and sometimes painful process we can't control."
But sometimes, that lack of control is the point, says Wilburn.
"We celebrate the end of a good year; we celebrate the end of a bad year. As humans, we're always trying our best to mark the beginnings and endings of things that never really stop or start. New Year's celebrations can be arbitrary, but they can also be quite powerful. I love the dichotomy."
"Happy New Year" features songwriter Kelcy Wilburn on vocals and rhythm guitar, with Will Kimbrough on lead guitars, Dean Marold on bass guitar, Fats Kaplin on strings, and Neilson Hubbard on drums. It was recorded and mixed at Skinny Elephant Recording in Nashville by Dylan Alldredge and mastered by James DeMain at Yes Master Studios.
This year, Ever More Nest are nominated for three of Offbeat Magazine's Best of the Beat Awards. In August, their single "What’s Gone Is Gone,” a cut from Out Here Now, reached No. 1 on the RMR Contemporary Folk Song radio chart.