New Man, 2023

It’s safe to say, 2023 was the year of AI. Sure, the technology had existed prior but the accessibility to larger masses was really unleashed in 2023. There’s plenty to say about the dangers, responsibilities and concerns about AI moving forward but that’s not for this post; this is about the six singles forming the new New Man EP, The New New Man.

The tracks were recorded over a series of weekends with Patrick Damphier at the helm, producing along the way. The live incarnation of the band – Landon Ihde, Dan Sommers, Chad Stuible, Rollum Hass and Patrick himself – contributed to the recordings for the first time. Songs like “False Start” and “Oh Man!” have been in the live setlist for some time, so hearing them formalized into their recorded versions was quite an intriguing process.

After the songs were finalized, the promotional process got underway. Cody Newman, the New Man himself, dove headfirst into using the new Generative AI tools that were available.

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Each track from the EP was set to be released as a standalone single over the course of many weeks. The cover art for each was dreamed up by various AI tools, driven by prompts from Newman’s mind. Some post-processing cleanup and we had six distinct covers and the EP cover itself; all thematically tied together

Newman continued down the rabbit hole of generative AI and put together a video for “False Start” that combines traditionally filmed segments re-imagined by AI tools and some completely new creations; all driven by his vision for the track.

AI technology is moving at lightspeed; so a video created and released in March of 2023 should look outdated by December of the same year (and beyond) but “False Start” holds up. The folks at Defy Film Fest agreed and screened the video as part of the gallery of innovative videos.

This post is largely focused on the artwork, video and promotional aspect of the record as that’s where YK was the most involved but these six songs are a delightful listen. Here’s what I wrote for the short bio on this release and I stand by every word.

The New New Man is infectiously catchy, amusingly witty and pushing the boundaries of what you expect from a pop song. The kind of pop songs that are inspired by Harry Nilsson, XTC or Jellyfish. The kind of pop songs with squishy keyboards, race whistles and vocal layering abound. The New New Man is full of delightful surprises; unexpected but pleasing in every form.

New Man Bio, 2023

These six songs are actually part of a larger batch of recordings that will hopefully be finalized in 2024. The project continuously surprises me by infusing original arrangements with nods to the past and the future.

Get the new New Man EP, The New New Man on Bandcamp and be sure to save it on your favorite streamer.


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