You have to somehow find a way to grasp the highs within the lows, and that’s the lesson to take away from Nightwell’s brand new single “Thank You.” From the band’s new three-song EP, What You Feel, the track is representative of the transition the quartet has made over the last few years, from a more traditional punk band to a trendier, more exciting pop-punk sound, with a hip-hop spin to it.
“Thank You,” in particular, emphasizes the creative growth that the Toronto group has been moving through, introducing a more R&B and hip-hop vocal style from lead singer Jason Emsallam, along with the rest of the musicians’ greater appeal to pop-centric song structures within that more conventional punk intensity.
Offering more insight into the inspirations behind how the song sound, the band said, “‘Thank You’ was co-written/produced by Brendon Padejasek (of Structures) alongside our guitarist/producer Kyle Marchant. We knew we wanted to write a more ‘production’ heavy song in the verses and grow it bigger and heavier as the song progressed. The biggest challenge of this song was the chorus. I feel like we restructured it a bunch of times but it’s our favourite chorus/hook that we have ever done!”
When it comes to the song’s accompanying video, they added, “The video was directed by Nightwell alongside our videographer Rob Spadafora. We were inspired by rap videos from Slowthai and Aries. We wanted a ton of quick cuts, random edits, and locations. We always loved Dylan Gould’s wild edits and colour-grading, so we knew he had to be a part of the project. It really took shape in his hands.”
Lyrically, “Thank You” reflects on the long-lasting distress and trauma that comes from the messy end of a close relationship. “‘Thank You’ is the moment of doubt you have two years after the breakup, when you’re doing better physically and mentally but somehow still feel nostalgic about that time in your life,” the band said. “You end up taking the day to remind yourself of all the reasons you left, replaying arguments, remembering their red flags. It’s part of healing to miss someone, and the world and people around you won’t truly be able to help. It takes self-reflection, self-love, and time to really mend the wound. I hope someone feeling lonely and nostalgic can relate and know that even on your lowest days, you end up coming away with the most answers and growth.”
What You Feel is the follow-up to Nightwell’s March 2020 self-titled debut album. It was that record that started them down the current musical path they are on, with songs such as “Medicate” and “Confident” alluding to the current musical direction they are on. Those songs in particular offered a clear lane forward to venture more into a pop-focused domain, where their energetic and aggressive rock choruses could fit right into. Their sound has continued to evolve on this latest EP, and it’s something that the band hopes continues as they progress as songwriters and musicians.
For Nightwell, it’s become more about the passion and the energy, than about any musical preconceptions about what their music should sound like, or what they think listeners should think about it.