…mmm, “it’s gonna be a long night, with sweet sounds…on the nightshift”. Oh, right. Sorry about that. We’re talking about a different kind of night shift today. Curious?
Most of us Continentals don’t have a real opinion about Glasgow. When it comes to contemporary culture the city is outshined by the Festival Fringe that annually takes place in Edinburgh. Glasgow is however a more frequent birthplace for famous bands. Belle & Sebastian, Franz Ferdinand and Travis are just a few of the well-known names that originated from the banks of the River Clyde.
Glasgow still is a very musical city so it’s no surprise that from the lively scene new bands keep spawning. Nightshift erected themselves in 2019 and without a doubt these guys and girls have high hopes to settle among the Glaswegian great. Nightshift’s latest effort carries the name Zöe, so let’s see what they are up to.
If you look around online you will find that Nightshift was set up not long ago as an experimental “No Wave-No New York-early Sonic Youth-This Heat-esque” group. We evidently appreciate this kind of ambition but also were fairly disappointed the opening track doesn’t live up to the aforementioned blend. On Piece Together we frankly hear a slow burning track that could just as easily be Courtney Barnett song. Luckily we like Barnett’s early EP’s very much so we pushed forward. Zöe gets the edge we were hoping for on Spray Paint the Bridge. Here the simple repetition of bass and guitar combined with Georgia Harris’ clarinet builds into a melodic shift in a manner that will get your head bobbing. The band does capitalize on this momentum as Outta Space is a minimalistic swirl and Make Kin is a twitchy spoken word track. Although Make Kin gears up the tempo a bit Nightshift again falls still on the dreamy Fences. Up until this point we have to say the songs sound nice to very nice on their own but it’s hard to find a common denominator.
Power Cut is Zöe’s longest track. In precisely seven minutes the song shifts from dreamy beginnings, to a melodic high noted midsection. The midsections ends with a whiff of free jazz which is the prelude to the full-bodied ending. After this adventurous Warpaint-like trip Nightshift continues to deliver compact songs that all have a different vibe. Infinity Winner is yet again of a soothing kind, Romantic Mud has a Vampire Weekend afropop ring to it, title track Zöe is wonderfully psychedelic and closer Receipts should be enjoyed with a nightcap.
Nightshift’s Zöe is the kind of work that never sits still. It goes from one corner to another in the post-punk spectrum so there is never a dull moment for too long. Blending various older post-punk genres is not that unique nowadays but in the case of Nightshift it’s the addition of Georgia Harris’ clarinet that make things really interesting. It’s clear that the band has a long way to go if it wants to reach a higher ground. We think more coherence in upcoming work is necessary for that. Yet we’ve heard enough to say that the potential is very much there. Therefore Nightshift had our curiosity, but thanks to Zöe now has our full attention.
Label: Trouble In Mind, 2021
Buy it here: http://www.troubleinmindrecs.com/nightshift-zoe/
- Piece Together (3:34)
- Spray Paint the Bridge (4:00)
- Outta Space (3:29)
- Make Kin (3:51)
- Fences (3:48)
- Power Cut (7:00)
- Infinity Winner (3:40)
- Romantic Mud (2:23)
- Zöe (2:58)
- Receipts (2:46)
Review by Wander Meulemans // 150421