The first song on The Night Owls’ self-titled debut record is the title track, a gentle, hymn-like folk track – delicate and decorated by plush harmonies, including a gorgeous cappella outro. The song sets the sonic stage for the rest of the album, with dreamy-creamy vocals riding over folk-rock and country harmonics.
From Montreal, the duo known as The Night Owls comprises Simon Arsenault and Marianne Bourgeois. A former member of the prog-rock outfit Innerspace, Arsenault studied classical music, jazz, and electro-acoustic. At the same time, Bourgeois is a self-taught singer-songwriter and poet who, once upon a time, studied cinema and psychology.
Similar to much music now being released, The Night Owls’ genesis occurred during the pandemic. Locked down and stuck at home, the pair wrote songs and lyrics. The result is eight tracks of soft, almost ethereal music, highlighted by Bourgeois’ lustrous voice, simultaneously translucent and undeniable. For some reason, it summons up comparisons to Stevie Nicks without the rasping-lite nuances.
Drifting, rippling, and gliding on celestial harmonics, “Like You Promised” elicits tender, quixotic moments, underlined by light, rumbling percussion, crying accents, and graceful piano notes, all centred by Bourgeois’ sensitive, inviting vocals.
“Dead End Romance,” possibly the best track on the album because of its funky rhythmic flow, allows Bourgeois to display the subtle dynamics of her tonal repertoire and a deliciously smouldering guitar, exuding tight bluesy flavours.
The dark, mysterious colours of “Under The Stars” escort the tune into Gregorian chant-like a cappella vocals layered with sublime beauty.
On the final track, “When The Sun Rises Again,” glossy, jangly guitars imbue the tune with hints of The Cranberries and cashmere washes of folk and dream-pop surfaces as Bourgeois’ suspended vocals offer a warm, honeyed palette of colours.
Like soft-serve ice cream, The Night Owls delivers rich, velvety textures, sugared by the silky-smooth vocals of Marianne Bourgeois.
The Night Owls Track Listing:
1. The Night Owls
2. My Lighthouse
3. Like You Promised
4. Dead End Romance
5. I Want You Close
6. I’ll Stay
7. Under The Stars
8. When The Sun Rises Again
Run Time: 40:25
Release Date: May 26, 2023
Record Label: Independent