Originally conceived as a close-harmony vocal trio, The Nightjar are a musical ensemble based in Bristol, UK, who describe their music as “lo-fi post-folk”. They will release their new single, Wardrobe, in Jan 2017 (via Bandcamp). The track is accompanied by a suitably cosmic and atmospheric video by band member Pete Thomas, which you can watch above. Wardrobe, also our Song of the Day, is the taster release from the group’s forthcoming Objects album, released in March 2017.
Drawing influence from the surrealist atmospheres of Grouper, the stark and poignant balladry of Diane Cluck and the deft compositions of Colleen, The Nightjar use close harmonies, tight-interlocking guitars, deep bass and an intense lead vocal to paint fragile, haunting landscapes for their dream-like, ethereal songs of hope, loss and disaster. Inspired by Eastern philosophical notions of emptiness, the ephemeral nature of reality and the cultivation of love and empathy for the world, The Nightjar’s work holds a plaintive resonance of the philosophising of legendary French composer Olivier Messiaen, whose Catholic faith and explorations of the void of existence inspired him greatly, and this particular form of metaphysical musing comes to mind when The Nightjar refer to their album as “songs for the end of time”.
On the subject of what inspired Wardrobe, Pete Thomas explains that the song is “about attachment to objects and things and the significance projected onto them by the beholder. In the first half of the song, the protagonist interacts with objects and their associated memories, exploring the past through their present relationship with them. In the second half of the song these objects are destroyed. So the song is about loss, attachment, and destruction, letting go”.
Following the success of a crowdfunding campaign to fund the recording of Objects, in the autumn of 2015 The Nightjar relocated to a farmhouse in rural Portugal to begin recording what would become their first full-length offering. The recording process was completed in some very interesting locations including the faded-grandeur of the bar in Serta’s dilapidated Old Town, on the equally run-down piano.
A collaboration with South London producer Kams brought The Nightjar to the attention of Boiler Room’s Joe Muggs. The following viral Boiler Room debut brought 2015’s The Nightjar EP plaudits from nearly 70,000 underground music fans, as well as the accolade of airplay on Radio 3’s Late Junction. The band have been supported by Mercury prize nominated folk singer Sam Lee who booked them for Cambridge Folk Festival and Shambala and several events organised by his trailblazing promotions company Nest Collective. In 2016 The Nightjar toured France, Germany and the UK, and their audiences were brought to a stand-still by the raw intensity of their performance, bringing them a reputation as a must-see live band. After a successful application for the PRS Open Fund, the album launch shows – March 16th at Oslo, London and March 17th at The Cube, Bristol – will showcase the band as a vibrant collective of multi-disciplinary artists and celebrate the value of collaboration.
Don’t miss them at Time Out Live presents Folk and Roots at The Jazz Cafe on 24 January 2017. The Nightjar will be performing on the evening alongside the likes of Ruth Theodore. Details and tickets here.
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More here: thenightjarmusic.com