Tag Archives: AltPop

Album review: Catfish and the Bottlemen’s The Ride Makes a Mess Within the Lines


The British indie rock band Catfish and the Bottlemen released their second full length album The Ride in May 2016, which was, personally, highly anticipated. The roomy sound of the band’s first full studio album, The Balcony (2014), was not lost in The Ride. It doesn’t depart from their established indie rock sound to any extreme, although, with a voice reminiscent of The KooksLuke Pritchard, lead vocalist and lyricist Ryan Evan “Van” McCann does push this album to a new level of heartbreak and entertainment.  Backed by band members Johnny Bond on guitar,  Benji Blakeway on bass, and Bob Hall on drums, the album brings out the highs and lows of life through witty lyrics and uncommonly engaging music.

The album opens with “7”, a smooth intro into the subdued, yet passionate sound of the album.  McCann starts with his usual confident and almost careless method, but by the end of “Twice” the strung out, stirring emotions of the lyrics are apparent.  “Soundcheck” keeps up the noise, and the relentless guitars and drums match McCann’s agitated vocals, while “Postpone” retains some restraint and poses more melancholy lyrics to the listener.  

The noisy rock sound of “Anything” is kept in check by “Glasgow” when they drop the drums and feature a muted, acoustic sound to the guitar.  The quieter song is anything but a break, rather bringing two different sides to the talented band into the spotlight.  The stripped vocals and subdued background leaves the listener alone with McCann and his bittersweet lyrics.  “Oxygen” picks up the pace without losing any of the closeness or longing, and the song blends nicely into the sweet melodic build of “Emily”.

Towards the end of the album, the loud, accusatory sound of “Red” contrasts with the slow, conceding abandon of “Heathrow”.  The band returns to their classic The Balcony sound with “Outside”, the final song on the album.  It finishes with a nearly painful cliffhanger that drops you off into nothing and leaves you wanting more.  On first listen, I thought the stream had an error, and I started the song over only to be duped again by the abrupt end.

The Ride brings in elements of soft rock and pleasing melody to balance the appealing emotional chaos and grunge rock sound of Catfish and the Bottlemen that they established during The Balcony.  The band has a very well balanced sound throughout the album that draws in the listener until you forget exactly what you’re listening to.  Not to say Catfish and the Bottlemen are background music; the album as a whole is earworm-worthy and catchy as hell.    Although The Balcony will always have a special place in my music library, The Ride has made its way into a spot with my top albums for its raw emotion and excruciatingly candid lyrics. 


Catfish and the Bottlemen- “Twice”

Kenzie Wamble

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Interview with alt pop duo NIGHTLY

Jonathan Capeci and Joey Beretta, the two artists composing
alternative pop band NIGHTLY, cousins from New Jersey, are about to shake up
the industry.

6 year locals of Nashville, the road to music started young,
with both artists finding themselves with their first instruments at age 10. “When
we were young, we got matching guitars,” Jon said fondly, “but we hooked up at
16 or 17 and that’s when we started making music, instead of just going to
class. It was just something we did back where we lived, in high school, you
were either in sports, or in drugs, or in a band. And we were in a band.”

“We grew up in Jersey,” Joey added. “We moved to Nashville
about 6 years ago, and have been writing back and forth between LA and

But the start out at 16 in New Jersey wasn’t an easy path
for the two young artists. “In Jersey, the thing is, when we there weren’t that many
venues to play that were all ages. We would play bowling alleys, pool halls,”
Joey pointed out. “I remember there was a place that was like Goodwill
downstairs and upstairs of a huge room that you could rent out to place shows.
It was a cool community as far as kids who wanted to go to shows. Whereas in
Nashville there are so many venues that makes music just a part of the culture.
With performing in Jersey, if you wanted it, you really had to make it work.”


The two grew up, and moved out to Nashville and started
getting serious about putting work out there. They started flying back and
forth between Nashville and LA, writing, producing, and hoping to blow up. The
two cities, the boys, say, are different, but close their hearts when writing.  “We’ve been writing for the past year, just a
lot of different feelings, doing everything in our bedrooms in Nashville or LA.
We have a lot of songs we’ve written, so when we were picking four tracks for
the EP, it was hard figuring out what we wanted our first impression to be.”

And with many songs written, and already known for killer
single “XO” that portrays an ethereal fluid filled musical journey, we wanted to
know what kind of vibe the two artists wanted to portray to their future fans.

“The thing is, we’ve been in bands for a long time and we’ve
never just been honest and told real experiences,” Joey explained.  “And I think lyrically this is the best work
we’ve done—and as far as our listeners, I think people can relate to the real
us and our real experiences. And I think the music behind it just captured the
feeling that was in the room.”


Jon adds, “I think with us, the thing is, the things that
inspire us don’t always have to be musical. I feel inspired by TwentyOne
but nothing in what we do is any way related to them. So, there’s
inspiration there in the sense that I appreciate their work. But then there’s
also the type of inspiration where I’ll say, ‘Dude I love that sound of this
kickdrum.’  There’ll be influences like
that where I’ll draw from melodies— from like Miguel’s kind of vibe. And then
classic guitar bands like U2 or Coldplay, where we get an ethereal feel. But
even like a picture can be inspiring or drive out at night together. A lot of
times too if you’re doing the same thing, taking yourself out of the headspace
of doing the same thing—like listening to Kanye—can be a refresher for what
you’re actually doing.”

The alt-pop duo has their start with their 4 tracks out and
proud. But what’s next?

“In the future we really just want to expose our music and
building our fan-base. We’ll spend the next year exposing the EP and
touring.  Because we could have put a
year and lot of money into an album and no one hears it. So right now, we want
to put out creative content, like music videos and little projects that are
weird but fun. We’re seeing a lot of new cities on this tour, and I think
performing in the UK would be good place.

When asked about future collaborations, Joey says “It’s so
hard you know because I would love just meet and hang out with John Mayer but
is be necessarily the apex of what we’re trying to do? No definitely not, but I
would do anything to meet him.”

Jon says, “For me, just some super dope chick would be cool.
Tove Lo, Sia, Miley Cyrus. I’m a sucker for female vocals. We probably wouldn’t
collab with a guitarist so it would probably be a rapper or a female vocalist.
All my favorites are female vocals though—like Lady Gaga would be dope.”

Joey adds with a smile, “Ellie Goulding too.”

No doubt the two will get their dream collaborations while
they’re on their way with their EP Honest,
now on Spotify. Check it out.

Ariana Rivera

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