The New Collisions ready to hit the next level

BMS talks with the local favorites about their quick rise to success in 2009

, Staff
Some bands try to sound like their influences. The New Collisions are a little bit luckier than those bands. When they said that they wanted keyboards that sounded like The Cars they actually got Greg Hawkes to play with them. Certainly helps you sound like your heroes when they’re moonlighting as part of your band.

“It was mind-blowing,” says lead singer Sarah Guild of working with Hawkes. “Greg is the humblest, nicest guy on the planet, so he just made it fun and came up with awesome ideas.” Scott Guild, guitarist (and husband of Sarah), continues, “All of his ideas were great, so it was really a matter of picking what ideas we liked the most and watching it grow from there. He came in with incredible vintage synths and brought our songs to a whole new level.”

The New Collisions have created a bit of a stir here in the hometown scene with their New Wave-y pop-rock hooks, and there’s a good chance that the new levels they hit on their upcoming EP Invisible Embraces is going to cause a lot more people to take notice, and that starts right off the bat with opener “Afterglow”, which starts slow and pretty and ends in a rush.

“‘Afterglow’ gets to the core of what we’re about,” says Scot. “It’s about feeling lost and uprooted in today’s world, searching for meaning and connection no matter how painful and difficult. ‘Love’ is an overused word, especially in pop music, but we wanted to use it in the broadest possible sense: having beauty, hope, and purpose in your life.”

That might seem like a tall order for a band that channels Blondie and the B-52’s (both former tourmates, by the way), but The New Collisions bounce back and forth between airy and heavy with little effort. One of the lighter moments is EP closer “Parachutes on the Dance Floor”, a song that has been known to get Beantown dancing. “I wrote that song almost as a joke, walking home from work one day,” says Scot. “And however hard I try, many people love that song the most. I love how easy it was to write! I usually agonize and go through 50 versions, but this one came into my head.”

With the EP set to drop at the Middle East Downstairs on Friday, the band is already excited about the future. “We feel amazing about our newest songs, which haven’t been recorded yet,” admits Sarah. “We played them on the fall tour and they get a great response. It’s hard to judge your own music, but we feel that we’re making lots of progress.”

Fans can be sure that they’ll hear some of the new stuff Friday night when The New Collisions hit the stage alongside a great bill that includes The Luxury, Thick as Thieves, Gene Dante and the Future Starlets, Future Everybody and one very special guest – Greg Hawkes “Greg is just awesome, so he makes everything relaxed and fun,” Sarah says of her band’s secret weapon.

You can bet that the band themselves will make the night plenty of fun on their own. “We try to have the most energy humanly possible,” says Sarah. “And also to have the fun that we want the audience to have when they see us.”

After Friday night’s festivities, which come after a month of working on the EP, which quickly followed a month on tour with the B-52’s, the band has some big plans. “I intend to sleep for a week,” says Scot. After that week off they better get ready to get back to work filling the New Wave void.

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