If you didn’t discover the debut EP from nightlife yourself on Friday when it dropped, I’m sorry for depriving you of two perfectly good days you could have spent immersed in it. I couldn’t stop listening long enough to write something. new low is a new high for me in 2021 — my standards for new music have completely changed in the last 48 hours.
The band themselves admit that genre lines have become irrelevant in the age of the internet. With access to so many sources of inspiration, it’s not often that a track falls neatly into one singular box. nightlife is proof of what good can come from leaning heavily into each of those influences — not just sprinkling a bit of funk influence into a rock song, but going full force on both and birthing a new sound. Soul punk, funk metal… whatever you want to call it, it feels like moshing for grownups. And as an alleged grownup myself, it really scratches an itch in my brain that I didn’t realize I could reach.
The title track, “new low“, combines elements of disco, synth funk, and modern punk, delivering something equally equipped for finger pointing or shaking your ass. Vocalist & producer Hansel Romero says it acts as their “homage to the disco resurgence of the last couple of years, as well as the early-80s golden era that it’s pulling from.” My upbringing as a boyband fangirl insists I mention how it sounds like a heavier version of Honor Society. The second track, “all i know“, is a cool back-and-forth between R&B and rock. Canadians in the house, are we hearing Josh Ramsay’s voice in those vocals?? And finally, we end with “lonely“, a neo-soul cover of Rob Thomas’ “Lonely No More”. I love Rob as a musician and as a meme (and as a fever dream guest star on It’s Always Sunny), but unfortunately his career has just been ended. He’s been up-staged. It’s almost infuriating to hear a debut EP that’s this strong; some bands spend their entire careers trying to achieve what nightlife did in a mere 12 minutes and 26 seconds.
With the band already working on a follow-up EP due out in the fall, it’s hard to imagine it’ll be long before nightlife has the entire scene in the palm of their hands.