In the modern day 24/7 news cycle across all outlets, be it political or entertainment news, it’s becoming increasingly rarer for true surprises to exist. Add to that the advent of social media where anyone can send out 140 characters to a base of people or share photos of anything in an instant and it seems like most people have an idea of what’s coming before it actually happens. That’s why when Washington natives Night Argent announced their sophomore EP and signing to Outerloop Records this past May, some were slightly taken aback as it seemed to come out of nowhere, even though it was known the band had been working on new music since the release of their debut EP in 2016. Now the time is here for the world to hear what the four multi-instrumentalists who make up the band have been up to over the past year as they’ve worked on honing their sound and refining their craft on their sophomore release, The Fear – and let us say, listeners are in for an absolute treat.
It would be relatively easy to say that The Fear is simply a continuation on the sound that Night Argent started out with on their self-titled EP, bringing nothing entirely new to the table while opting to build on the their core sound instead. While there is some truth to part of that ideology, the fact is that The Fear showcases a more diverse and varied sound that few probably expected from them. The first two tracks, “Mannequin” and “Dreamcatcher” put Night Argent’s distinct sound on display as they’re both alternative, pop driven tracks full of lush, cinematic soundscapes that build and explode over a driving, thunderous rock sound. It’s on the third track, “Heartbeat”, where things become more experimental as airy, glistening synths fade into fast paced strumming on a guitar before ramping up with intensity and more reliance on letting vocalist Chase Manhattan’s singing take center stage over the fully realized sound.
This anthemic approach continues onward into “The Fear”, which serves as the tone setter of the EP both lyrically and musically with its soaring “Oooo’s” and infectious beat. Closing out the EP are two softer, but distinctly different tracks in regards to how they both approach that softer sound. “Immortalized” takes the sounds level down quite a few notches and is more of a subdued, alternative showcase while “Dream of the Ocean” relies more on tugging at the heartstrings of listeners with its emotional message of simplicity and acoustic guitar driven sound, rounding out the EPs varied and distinct musical approach beautifully.
When Night Argent burst onto the scene in 2015, they had what was at the time a sound that drew comparisons to other acts, but still had its own distinctly crafted elements to separate them from being lumped together. In the two years since that time, many artists influenced by the desire to craft alternative pop with cinematic soundscapes have popped up, but as The Fear once again shows, nothing comes close to the ones who work tirelessly at their craft. This is a huge step forward for the band as the composition is stronger, the production is tighter and delivery is more varied, but still retains the essence of what Night Argent are all about – bridging the gap between artist and fan while giving fans an experience they’ll never forget.