If there’s one thing Night Argent know how to do, it’s evoke emotion. On their sophomore EP, The Fear, the Washington-based band–consisting of Chase Manhattan (lead vocals, guitar), Shane Santanna (keys, guitar, drums), Evan Taylor (bass), and Zac Burrell (drums)–dig deep into emotional territory while still maintaining their powerhouse alt rock sound. It’s an album filled with infectious tracks that you can’t play only once.
We recently caught up with the band to get the scoop on each track on the EP. As you’ll be able to tell, they did not hold back in explaining each song thoroughly. So sit back, grab a drink and dive into Night Argent’s EP.
“Mannequin” is currently our favorite track on this record. The production and the big power ballad vibe feels a little reminiscent of “Kamikaze” to us, which was the track off of our debut EP that was our favorite to play live. The initial lyrics and concept for “Mannequin” came to me while showering in the hotel room prior to an all day co-writing session we had in Los Angeles. I just kept thinking about the similarities between someone who feels like they’ve lost everything of importance to them, everything that made them who they are, and a mannequin. When someone or something has taken and left with such a big part of you, you no longer feel like yourself, you feel like an empty shell, whose only purpose left in life is to be a filler for your clothes. Honestly, I wasn’t sure how the idea would play, and I expected it to get shot down when I pitched it to the group, so when they took it and ran with it, helping mold it into what is now the first track off of The Fear, I was stoked. We recently released the video that featured two amazing dancers from our hometown. We wanted to keep the video simple, while still being visually striking. Having them come in and lend their talents to the music video came out amazing.
When we wrote “Dreamcatcher,” it was actually our last day with John Feldmann at his studio. Feldy drove us to his favorite coffee shop to chat and to brainstorm song ideas. At one point, we ended up discussing how easy it is for people to let fear get in the way of their goals and their dreams. It’s much easier to avoid the things you fear, like defeat or failure, than to embrace the fear and face it head on, but by facing the fear, you not only grow as an individual, but eventually you realize how pointless it is to be afraid of things as trivial as failure. People get so blinded by that fear of failure that they can no longer see the possibilities and opportunities around them. They end up getting in their own way and self-setting a limit on their potential. When we’re young, we believe we’re capable of anything and everything, children are only taught to doubt themselves through the actions and words of others. When you go through life and you consistently have other people doubting you, or telling you that what you want out of life isn’t possible, it’s hard not to start thinking that there must be some kind of truth to that, and you start dwelling on the possibility of failure, rather than focusing on improving your chances of success. After that discussion, we went back to the studio and started writing the lyrics to “Dreamcatcher,” and the line we started with was “Don’t make it rain, when the stars are all around you.” “Dreamcatcher” ended up setting the tone for the rest of the EP. It led to the writing of the title track for the record, ‘The Fear,’ and it ended up creating a theme that we felt really tied everything on the EP together. We really wanted to continue that theme in the video, which led to a throwback to old horror movies, centered around a girl (an amazing local model/actress) defeating her own nightmares. We spent weeks building a set from scratch so we would be able to control every aspect of the video. The result was a dark, ominous homage to everything we loved about those old films.
“Dream of the Ocean”
“Dream of the Ocean” was written while we were down in California, working with John Feldmann. We all really liked the initial idea for the song, which started out as just a verse, of reminiscing on simpler times. As a band, we get to experience something that’s very much like being kids again, traveling to new places and experiencing new things, feeling a sense of adventure and wonder. However, being older with more responsibility, you can never get rid of the baggage you’ve picked up over the years. You may set it aside for a moment, but it’s always there in the corner of your mind. “Dream of the Ocean” was our way of forgetting that baggage for a moment. Coming from the same hometown, it was easy for us to connect over our childhoods, and we included references to our small corner in Washington State in the song, as an homage to the place and the people who made us who we are today, for better or for worse.