Nightcaller is an electro-rock-dream-pop duo based in NYC. Their debut album, Halcyon Daze, drops today, September 14.
The musical offspring of Evan Patrick (guitar), and Howard Alper (drums), Nightcaller’s sound is influenced by Sleigh Bells, CHVRCHES, Stranger Things, Cocteau Twins, and Blade Runner. Patrick and Alper chanced on each other when both were auditioning for Kelis’ backing band. They didn’t land the gig, but discovered a mutual sonic chemistry, so they began sharing musical ideas.
Before long, they began working with producer Joshua Valleau at The Glass Wall Studios. Valleau added instrumentation and recorded the vocalists, while Patrick did the mixing. The result is Halcyon Daze.
Halcyon Daze comprises eight tracks. From a purely subjective viewpoint, the best tracks on the album include “Conditions,” featuring the deliciously sensuous voice of Emi Monroe. Riding a creamy, bluesy new wave tune, this tune simmers with glorious oozing colors.
“Sugar,” featuring Freedom Brenner, presents an industrial-flavored electro-pop tune with filtered background vocal harmonies exuding tinny sonority, as Brenner’s tautly affluent voice imbues the music with tight energy. I love the buff rhythm on this track, crisp snaps from the snare and deep resonant pulses from the synths.
The measured new wave flow of “Mysterious Skin” makes it one of my personal favorites. The song features the elegant tones of DEDE. Full of haunting timbres, her voice takes on wistful colors, proximate and gentle, yet suffused with alluring textures. Softly splashing synths atop a potent rhythm infuse the tune with streaming sparkles of sound over snug pulses.
Aaron Lazar of the Giraffes assumes the vocal duties on “Westworld Again,” a retro new wave tune rife with powerfully vibrating synths. The overall feel of the music is like something from Mad Max, futuristic new wave merged with apocalyptic electro-pop. “Punk You” revs things up, blending retro new wave flavors with dirty proto-punk echoes. Ann Courtney provides the vocals on this tune, and really makes the song burst with her Debbie Harry-on-steroids-tones.
With Halcyon Daze, Nightcaller displays grand innovation, blending retro elements with stylish new wave harmonics. The resulting sound is delightfully creative and contagious.