Nap LaJoy is driven by the songwriting of Devin O’Keeffe, the production of Michael Simonelli, and the bass/drums of Kevin Hunter and David Newman. The music draws from 60’s psychedelia, 90’s grunge and shoegaze, and the post-Radiohead sounds of the past decade. Their album Host was released on August, 11 2017.
Host is Nap LaJoy’s debut album, recorded over the course of 3 years in producer/guitarist Michael Simonelli’s studio.
In 2013, founding members Devin O’Keeffe (vocals, guitar) and Dave Newman (drums) approached Simonelli, who had been playing live shows with the band, to take the songs they had composed over a life-long friendship and adapt them for an album. Simonelli brought experience from a variety of projects, as cofounder of the studio/production company Full Stop Art, and subjected the band’s music to a vigorous and intense creative process. The group, with close friend Kevin Hunter on the bass, found new life in the studio.
Songs, some over a decade old, were torn down and rebuilt from scratch. Takes went into the hundreds as the band pushed to find the perfect form, the perfect gesture. The project turned into an obsession. O’Keeffe adapted his approach to songwriting and performance to fit the world they were building; Simonelli pushed himself to his limits in pursuit of a signature sound, soldering together new gear, spending days alone exploring guitar sounds and textures; Newman and Hunter provided emotional stability and calm amidst turmoils of ego and emotion, keeping the band grounded as the record slowly revealed itself.
Now through that process emerges Host, feverishly pursued and meticulously assembled. The music is full of finely sculpted moments, some layered atop breathless first takes which survive from the beginning of the process, some fully the product of years of evolution. Host represents what obsessive drive and focus can yield, what can be done when time and care are taken to chase down a vision, and ultimately, what Nap LaJoy believes an ideal rock record should sound like.