Readying up for their eighth album, and their sixth consisting of original music since 2021, LA-based psych-rock band Night Beats is out with their third single and video, “Nightmare.” Formerly operating as a one-man band of Texas native Danny Lee Blackwell, the newly expanded lineup is firing out through every cylindrical kaleidoscope in their arsenal, tapping into a truly hypnotic musical space. And on Rajan, the upcoming album out July 14, Blackwell and company are sure to dazzle with pristine production and lucid lyrics, which take the title of “Nightmare” and make an enjoyable bad trip.
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At the centerpiece of their newest track is a glossy guitar, acting more like a ray gun from a 60s sci-fi flick than your typical instrument. Though it is clearly inspired by the guitar playing from bands such as The Isley Brothers, that doesn’t take away from the fact that it routinely steals the show and is the source for most of the psychedelic atmosphere. Atop the neverending drum loops and basslines cutting through the noise, it’s a perfect combination of Blackwell’s making, who holds his own thanks to his nasal voice that contrasts the eclectic instrumentation.
While not quite a nightmare as the namesake might lead to believe, the music video still channels dream logic for visual splendor. The band, barely visible through the bright acid drip colors swirling around them, plays the song on a dark, live stage. True to Blackwell’s intention, the visuals embody what the song was going for and fully embrace the idea of psychedelic imagery, flying circles, and all.
“I wanted to hear sounds and cries of unconditional, blind love. I wanted swirling, fitful guitars, speaking in tongues, thrashing around in a chest trying to break free,” said Blackwell on the making of “Nightmare.” “A call and response to the blood-curdling voice of a lost soul, ringing out, pleading for understanding.” If one thing’s for sure, Night Beats are in a daze of their making and the third to prove Rajan as an album worth anticipating.
Words: David Sosa