As the follow-up to the We'll Have a Time CD, Dear Nora's Katy Davidson regrouped in 2002 with this EP. Davidson wrote and recorded most of the songs on The New Year [EP] almost entirely herself in San Francisco and Portland, OR. Marci Martinez (formerly of Team Dresch) appears on drums on two tracks, while Chloe Scott appears on flute on one track. The disc begins with "The New Year," a melancholy and barebones opener. The simple lyrics and simple instrumentation increase the level of emotional strain on songs like "Holding On," while "A Polar Bear" is a modestly upbeat indie pop gem. "On to September" is a philosophical commentary on the passing of time. "If I Were a Boy" is a brief and poignant song near the end of the disc. Three instrumental tracks -- "Coda to Dreaming out Loud," "Coda to a Lullaby," and "Coda to the New Year" -- serve as brief interludes throughout the disc. The 11 songs clock in at only 23 minutes. Overall, the disc is an impressive display of straightforward lyrics and soft, mellow indie pop instrumentation. Davidson's vocals are the highlight of the disc.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Cramer