words by tom johnson
A fountain of ideas is all well and good but without the craft and learned ability to put them all beautifully in to practice they can be somewhat redundant. Good news, then, that Night Idea channel seven years of experience in to their latest effort; the gleaming psych-pop mastery of Riverless, and the brand new album from the Richmond, VA based quartet, which is released via Gigantic Noise/Citrus City on October 13th but available to stream right here, in all its colourful glory, today.
Defined in the PR as a record that is “gorgeous and mind-altering, depending on your engagement”, such sentiments make perfect sense as the album’s nine tracks play-out, the whole thing rising and falling, ebbing and flowing, as it takes its often striking journey through a rich and varied musical pathway. And so guitars shimmer and gleam, the percussion hits hard and then simmers in the background, warped and restrained, while the whole mood of the piece seems to shift in the blink of an eye, like watching weather move from the greatest of heights.
A sparkling array of genres come-and-go, in fact it never once sticks to one pigeon-hole so it’s perhaps best to talk about Riverless as a bountiful spread of fascinating moods rather than where it sits within pop’s colour scheme. Lead, and opening, track ‘Perfect Water’ is a vivacious scene-setter, those layered vocals sitting pretty amid a tumbling backdrop of restless instrumentation, kaleidoscopic and ever-twisting. This track’s prominent arc could perhaps be labelled as the band’s blue-print, mirrored as it is across other notable tracks such as the punchy ‘Dream Sequence’, but they also deviate away from the blanket of formidable noise on songs such as the surprisingly warm ‘Wandering’ which acts as a gorgeous space from which to catch your otherwise-frenzied breath.
Cryptic and inspired, Night Idea offer a full-length full of ambition and craft here, but, most notably, they do so in a way that still feels resolutely welcoming, no matter how much of it feels wildly idiosyncratic; a frenzied burst of psych-pop with just enough breathing space for it to truly thrive.
The record gets a full release this Friday but you can stream it in full below right now. Check it out:
Pre-order ‘Riverless’ here
10/11 Wilmington NC – The Whiskey
10/20 Richmond VA – The Broadberry
10/21 Raleigh NC – Lumley Blue Ramp
10/22 Charleston SC – Makeout Reef
10/23 Savannah GA – El Rocko Lounge
10/25 Augusta GA – The Playground
10/26 Greenville SC
10/27 Athens GA – The 40 Watt
10/28 Greensboro NC – On Pop of the World Studios