After premiering their suitably cosmic and atmospheric video for their single ‘Wardrobe,’ taken from their debut album Objects (17th March via Pear O’ Legs Records), we welcome back The Nightjar to take us track-by-track through their new album. Take every opportunity to see them live (details of their two album launch shows in London and Bristol are below), they are an exceptional and uniquely talented musical ensemble, as you can hear for yourself below.
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”.
Objects: Track by Track
All Objects Will Cease
An exploration of the limitations of language and the constructed nature of reality, All Objects Will Cease speaks about the inevitability of movement, the passing of time and the part this plays in our attempt to pin down meaning as our experiences constantly evolve. It is a philosophical attempt to describe and communicate the nature of both material and emotional worlds and the potential futility of this.
The Birds Were Made to Sing For Us
An introspective and emotional response to the changing nature of a relationship. The protagonist is grappling with the loss of faith they have in the stability of a connection. The sobering experience of realising that all is not as it seems yet seeking comfort by retreating into the familiar. There is an attraction towards delusion when the loss of an attachment seems too hard to face.
Wardrobe begins with a description of a sentimental exploration of material objects. The familiar belonging that adorn our memories connect us to our history. The protagonist explores and observes these precious belongings in great detail, noticing texture and condition. These belongings are all carefully contained in boxes to keep them safe. In the second half of the song a successions of elemental forces arrive and liberate these belongings. All is lost, burned, drowned by waves, swallowed by the ground or swept away by wind. This is an experience of loss and liberation, a necessary stage when mourning the separation from attachments.
A song about living with change. Cockleshell explores the experience of a nomad who is at home whilst moving, taking root on drifting wood. The song is also about the decision to become nomadic, moving from one way of life to another and discovering new and fulfilling possibilities in a different way of living.
Lead And Line
A lead and line is a tool used to measure depth in water. It is a simple lead weight attached to a rope, the distance the lead travels marking the depth in fathoms. The song explores the navigation that is required when exploring uncharted territories. A sensitive and possibly animal-like exploration of unfamiliar changing terrain, Lead And Line explores the shift in perception that is required to navigate and map a changing environment.
A traditional song that exists in many incarnations. In this arrangement the protagonist waits at the gallows pole as various family members approach the gallows, offering hope and potential salvation. One by one, the protagonist finds that they have come to watch the spectacle rather than pay off the executioner until the last refrain. This song is an investigation into injustice, hope and liberation.
This song is about how a landscape, or way of life, can encroach upon its surroundings, and the fear attached to this. It could be seen as a city landscape spreading into the suburbs, or the survival of rural traditions being threatened by the call of the city. The attraction of different experiences, or the overpowering of existing ways of life. The song addresses the tendency that people have to fear this change. The Black Waters symbolise the rising tide of the unknown
Dle Yaman, translated as ‘alas’, is an iconic Armenian folk song. There are many variations and translations of this song, but all agree that the song is a strong expression of sorrow in response to the loss of a loved one.
In The Sky or In the Ground
The song is an expression of encouragement. The words highlight the powerful nature of an ultimately solitary journey through life. It is a loving acknowledgment of the support we may receive along this journey and the courage and knowledge that this support provides. It gives thanks for formative relationships and calls upon the advice and memory of loved ones lost along the way.
Objects is released 17th March via Pear O’ Legs Records. Pre-Order it here.
Don’t miss their two album launch shows:
The Nightjar: Album Launch Shows
London show: 15 March (The Nest Collective) at Proud in Camden
Tickets and Details
Bristol show: 17 March at The Cube in Bristol
Tickets and Details
More here: thenightjarmusic.com
Photo Credit: Paul Blakemore