Nightshift – ‘Zöe’ album review

Nightshift follow up last year’s self-released full-lenth cassette with new album ‘Zöe’. Now signed to Trouble in Mind, the now five-piece have a sound that dips into the musical history of their base in Glasgow and offers something fresh and contemporary.

The album begins with ‘Piece Together’, a slow-burner with elongated Warpaint-style vocals about ‘learning right from wrong’ and how we ‘re-piece together’. Its experimental tones follow on into ‘Spray Paint the Bridge’, although this one has a more funky bass line and lyrics about heading for the valley before Georgia Harris’ clarinet marks a shift in tone into something more wildly hypnotic. ‘Outta Space’ is again more sparse but takes in a range of cultural influences and offers some direct questions: ‘Hey, why don’t you take me away now?’ ‘Make Kin’ is altogether more menacing with Dry Cleaning-style spoken-word observations about ‘poster childs, imposter syndrome and insomniacs’ being delivered in a poetic manner. It also has a healthy dose of riffs that just adds to the tribal spy soundtrack feel.

‘Fences’ has a shoegazey undercurrent with talk of dismay and ‘Get to the top and it falls away’, while the 7-minute ‘Power Cut’ is the album’s centrepiece. Coming in somewhere between Zola Jesus, Talking Heads and Everything Everything with synths at the forefront, the band urge you to ‘Keep the dream alive’ while also reflecting on the effect a power cut can have on modern life: ‘Off the grid, off the grid. Yes, I live off the grid’. It ends with jazzy influences melting into jangle pop melodies. It’s a delight. ‘Infinity Winner’ takes things into a more fragile and fractured direction before the trio of ‘Romantic Mud’ (XTC with glitchy effects), the title track (somewhat otherworldly) and ‘Receipts’ close the album in soulful style.

Expressive, elegant and experimental, you’ll want to sign up to this Nightshift.

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