BEFORE AND AFTER is the latest album from NOW Ensemble, devoted to the music of Sean Friar. It was released on November 12, 2021 on New Amsterdam Records.

the existential void I want to crawl into like a hot bath on a cold night.” – VAN Magazine

Heartbreaking beauty.” – Gonzo Circus

Friar’s music… beguiles, bewilders, and beautifies…” – Big Takeover Magazine

January 12, 2022 – New video by Deborah Johnson/Candystations for the opening track, “Chant”!

Get on Apple Music
Buy on Bandcamp

ALBUM RELEASE SHOW, December 12, 2021 at
Le Poisson Rouge, New York, NY.


January 26, 2022 – Album REVIEW in Van Magazine. Olivia Giovetti writes “… Friar is more interested in the slow burn of history, rendered through his meticulous ear for timing and pace… “Before and After” ends with the ten-and-a-half-minute “Done Deal,” a spiral of dread and despair that at times feels like Baroque lamentation before slowly giving way to a pixellated agitation. It’s the existential void I want to crawl into like a hot bath on a cold night. 

January 18, 2022 – Album REVIEW in Gonzo Circus (Amsterdam, Netherlands).
From time to time it erupts unexpectedly and aggressively, as if that is ultimately the defining characteristic of man as a species. In the hands of the NOW Ensemble, that duplicity sounds completely convincing… In the concluding ‘Done Deal’ there is an insistent despair about the fate that humanity is inevitably heading towards. Heartbreaking beauty.

January 12, 2022 – Video Premiere on Big Takeover of “Chant”.
Video by Deborah Johnson/Candystations.

January 1, 2022 – Before and After included on NY Times/New Yorker/NPR critic Steve Smith’s list of highlight albums of 2021.

December 15, 2021 – Album REVIEW on The Big Takeover.
“Friar’s music… beguiles, bewilders, and beautifies…”

December 10, 2021 – Album featured on
New York Public Radio’s WNYC New Sounds with John Schaefer.

November 19, 2021 – Interview with Sean on 15 Questions.

Album released on November 12, 2021 on New Amsterdam Records.
Available on Bandcamp, Apple Music, and Spotify.

Album officially announced October 1, 2021, along with release of the single “Rally.

PRESS RELEASE from New Amsterdam Records on October 1, 2021.

Listen to the full single of “Rally” on Apple Music, Bandcamp, Amazon Music

Upcoming music video release by Deborah Johnson of Candystations coming soon.

NOW Ensemble

NewAm Records