Softsynth Flavour of the Month – Nightlife

At a time when there feels like a lot of baton-passing going on within our movement – see the disappointing new Erasure album – a key part of that equation is having those on the receiving end of the baton ready for the hand-off. When we reviewed the Erasure album the quality that kept emerging was a lack of sincere energy and passion. There was the forced, “this is disco, you should be dancing…please?!” feeling but that kind of sincerity in a synth pop song simply cannot be forced and has to be felt. Michigan’s Nightlife (Darin Rajabian and Caroline Myrick) are a “pure laine” synth pop band who feel it in spades. The energy and true emotive qualities drip from every pore of the two EPs they have thus far released, and every track is dangerously smile-inducing. It makes no pretense to be anything but exactly what it is – beautifully produced, fun, catchy, terrific synth pop with lovely, infectious vocals. With their new EP, Radio, just released, what’s next for this exciting young band? They deigned to answer a few questions for us to help fill in the blanks (with Myrick speaking for the group)…

SS: Your music seems a pretty straightforward, unabashed synthpop, the likes of which we don’t hear a lot these days, at least except maybe ironically; why choose this direction in this day and age? is this form of music a passion for you both or was it a more deliberate choice?

NL: We both love pop songs, and are mostly entranced by synth-based pop. It just came naturally for us that the music we make should sound the way it does.

SS: Following that, who have influenced you? Who do you think you sound like?

NL: Together, we’re influenced by bands like Hall & Oates, whose lyrics are sweet and often corny, but in the best possible way, and also a few modern bands such as Parallels, Sally Shapiro, and Desire. I suppose our sound has bits and pieces from all of these sorts of groups. It’s hard not to let your influences creep into the music you make.

SS: You are releasing your material through Soundcloud and offering it free, one might say even encouraging it. Why this business model? In 2011 how does a band like yours expect to make money?

NL: In the current stage we’re in as a fairly new band, our main goal, really, is to reach people, and get our music out. After we’ve created a bit more of a base, then we can start worrying about money. Or not worrying about money, I suppose. (ha)

SS: There’s a really high-quality to your production, almost surprisingly so, you’re a pretty indie band and one would guess you don’t exactly have unlimited resources, how do you achieve such a sophisticated sound?

NL: I guess our production is achieved mostly just by having the experience to make it sound how we want it to. Darin has been mixing and making music since age 15, and has a keen ear for quality and track flaws. I have been a musician in various senses since I was quite young also, and so we just work terribly hard until our songs have the sound we’re looking for.

SS: What about the future: when can we expect a full-length album from Nightlife? What about live dates?

NL: We are expecting to release the full length sometime in 2012, and are in the process right now of writing quite a few new songs.

As for live dates, we’re playing this Wednesday at Woodruff’s in Ypsilanti, MI with our dear friends Stepdad, and for any other dates, we always keep them posted here:

Check them out, one of the more exciting new bands our genre has to offer. The baton has been passed…

Watch: Goodbye









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