Badass Band 115: Nightjacket

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Photo Credit: Diego Miranda

By Contributing Badass: Chris Camargo 

If Nicholas Winding Refin was making Drive in 2016 he would be hard-pressed to find a better song for when Carey Mulligan looks at Ryan Gosling in her subtle, tragic, and lovelorn way than “Never Gone to Give My Love Away” off of Nightjacket’s Eternal Phase EP.

Nightjacket, an LA band of varying and defying description that converges on words like spacey, ethereal, dynamic, dreamy, or like a mild trip where you can taste sound, recently released their latest piece of music majesty, a cover of Echo and the Bunnymen’s Killer Moon.

I recently sat down with lead singer, Holland Belle, and guitarist, Jordan Wiggins. We met at Broome Street General store located on the other side of the freeway from the backyard party in Atwater Village where Jordan once heard Holland play a solo set and the story of Nightjacket began.

At this point I willfully abandon all objectivity and journalistic professionalism. I’m a fan of Holland Belle. Like Jordan, I first heard her sing a solo acoustic set before being told that she was the lead singer for Nightjacket, and thought all the beautiful words associated with music and finally settled on salubrious. Her voice is that amazing.

Although, in the end, it was Jordan who was the driving force behind putting the band together and much of Eternal Phase. The EP feels like two things that would be just fine separately were mixed together to make something great. “There is a mixing of the light and dark elements. The poppy, hook-based sound that is bright and fun and the darker mysterious and moody element,” said Holland. “And a lot of reverb,” added Jordan. It harmonizes and intertwines perfectly. But what really separates the EP is the influence of folk music’s ability to tell stories. Where other groups would let the synth and layer upon layer of guitar do the heavy lifting while drowning out the vocals, Nightjacket uses their innovative sound and eagerness for experimentation to bolster their lead singer’s voice, and in so doing showcase their evocative lyrics which reveal the heart of their musical experience. Nightjacket truly tell stories and weave them into the listeners’ life experience. “The Right Way to Fall”, takes Holland’s inspired voice and mixes it with their trademark dreamy sound. It is a combination of stunning musical landscapes, sonorous vocals, and the detailed stories of the folk tradition that finishes in a dream pop wonder.

That their EP was done without any major – or minor – label/corporate support is all the more amazing. I felt confident that the answer to the how the first EP was made was going to involve some form of transforming a bedroom or shower into a recording studio, but I still had some doubt that maybe they spent money that they didn’t have to make the record as intricate and layered as the final product is. It sounds like someone spent a lot of money on it. Whatever the mix of technology, necessity, and talent that was used, the end result is a beautiful piece of music. This is the work of seriously talented musicians, not just people that play music, but musicians. People that take the craft seriously. This was just the beginning, the feeling of their next EP, which they hope to have out by Spring 2017, will be much more of a group dynamic/effort though still working through and exploring their current sound.

You only get so many shots to make your mark and Nightjacket made theirs with spectacular precision. However, they have no intention of standing still. The one sentiment that they kept bringing up was the need to experiment, which they’ve been doing with the new EP being recorded in Studio City with Adam Lasus, to Holland’s solo adventure away from folk music and toward electronic. Sitting with them it gave me the feeling of people who want to truly encompass the full spectrum of music. They have the souls of musicians who would like nothing better than to get lost for a while and create things far from the expectations of others.

It would seem that one of the few benefits to being left alone by the big music machine is that artists can be artists. They can take risks and record records the way they want them to sound. It is one thing for me to find it difficult to place Nightjacket in a particular category or genre of music, but when the band doesn’t quite know where they fit, there is a freedom being sought, a sound being developed that is all around a good thing for the art of music. It’s the duality of being an artist. You create in private hoping to do something you’ll be proud of and represent whatever feeling or truth is inside of you. While at the same time, you want others to feel something for about it as well.

Although, on second thought, UMG please send someone from Capitol Records to give them a bunch of money and let them make music. I promise they’ll be worth it. I’ll owe you. Don’t worry that I have a higher IQ than credit score, I’m good for it. So go ahead and put some of that unholy Bieber money to good use. Give them money and leave them alone. They know what they’re doing.

Regardless of label interest, the band is poised to keep on. They are considering kicking off the release of the second EP with a European tour sometime next year. This release will be worth the wait. However, should tragedy strike and Nightjacket not do anything else, should they all go off on their separate ways in music, Eternal Phase should be one of those things that marks an era in LA music, one of those rare things that can live on its own. One of those records that back in the era of records and CDs, would prove your legitimacy as a audiophile. It is beautiful. Go find it.

Find Nightjacket here: 

Web: https://nightjacket.bandcamp.com/

Fbk: https://www.facebook.com/Nightjacket

BB Live: December Resident Band: WASI: Week 1

December can often mean darkness and the winter blues, and we didn’t want that for y’all here at BB, so we brought in our friends WASI to keep December poppin’! Peep them performing their tune “And the World” below, and be ready for more riot pop from these badasses all month long!

Thanks to WASI, Block of Joy, Jordan Robins, Mike Post, Joshua Cobos and our sponsor, MVP!

 

SIFTING THROUGH THE NOISE: THIS WEEK’S GUARANTEED BADASSERY

Sifting through the Noise: This Week’s Guaranteed Badassery

Monday:

The Shakers @ Harvard & Stone. 8pm. FREE.

Tuesday:

Polaris Rose @ The Lexington. 9pm. $8.

Saturday:

The Singles @ Cobraside Distribution in DTLA. 12pm-5pm. FREE.

 

*Will add as more pop up!

BSing with Badasses: Episode 27: King Washington

On this episode we welcome back badasses King Washington to BS about touring, bicoastal residencies, their upcoming album, and they play us a magical currently unreleased track that is just perfect for the current political climate! Tune in here.

BB Live: November Resident Band: The Frights: Week 4-Interview

Peep The Frights interview as part of their Badass Bands Live November residency! The guys tell us how they met, how they nearly lost $300 worth of show tix in a parking lot, what their original name was, how LA crowds wait in line to stage dive (weirdos!) and more!

Thanks to Block of Joy, Riot at the Zoo and our sponsor, MVP!

 

SIFTING THROUGH THE NOISE: THIS WEEK’S GUARANTEED BADASSERY

Sifting through the Noise: This Week’s Guaranteed Badassery

Monday:

Alina Bea ends her November Residency at The Bootleg! 9pm. FREE.

King Washington end their November Residency at The Satellite with badasses The Zmed Brothers and The Deltaz. 9pm. FREE.

Tuesday:

The Knitts @ The Hi Hat as part of Ramonda Hammer’s Residency. 9pm. FREE.

Saturday:

PLaNETS host a Father Time Christmas Special at Casey’s Irish Pub in DTLA ft. alllllll kinds of members of badass bands! 10pm. FREE.

 

*Will add as more pop up!

BB Live: November Resident Band: The Frights: Week 3

Just in time for Thanksgiving, we bring you The Frights live performance of “Kids”! This one is a punky, anthemic commentary on adolescence and how we take things for granted until we have to grow up and do shit for ourselves. Dig into it below!

Thanks to TF, Block of Joy, Mike Delay, Jordan Robins, Joshua Cobos, and our sponsor, MVP!

 

SIFTING THROUGH THE NOISE: THIS WEEK’S GUARANTEED BADASSERY

Monday:

Alina Bea continues her residency at Bootleg Theatre. 9pm. FREE.

King Washington continue their residency at The Satellite. 9pm. FREE.

 

Saturday:

Play Like A Girl hosts their showcase at The Echo ft. Liphemra, Miya Folick, Spelles, and Music Bones. 5:30pm. $10

BB Live November Resident Band: The Frights: Week 2

This week our BB Live resident band, The Frights, serve up a love song, “All I Need”! This definitely isn’t some cutesey little love song though, this track skips back and forth between fast-paced punk rock verses and bass heavy sixties-esque surf rock choruses. Its intense, fun, and it’ll make you feel allllllll the things. Tune in below!

Thanks to The Frights, Block of Joy, Mike Delay, Riot at the Zoo, Joshua Cobos and our sponsor, MVP!

SIFTING THROUGH THE NOISE: THIS WEEK’S GUARANTEED BADASSERY

Monday:

King Washington continues their November residency at The Satellite! 9pm. FREE.

Alina Bea continues her residency at The Bootleg. 9pm. FREE.

The Crazy Brave play at Harvard & Stone. 9pm. FREE.

Tuesday:

The Active Set is celebrating the release of their new EP at The Satellite. 9pm. $10

Light FM rocks Resident in DTLA. 8pm. FREE.

Wednesday:

Easyfriend joins Psychic Love at The Echo. 9pm. $8

Thursday:

The Record Company rocks the El Rey Theatre. 8pm. $18

Friday:

Down and Outlaws are at The Hi Hat w/Yacht Punk. 9pm. $8

 

*Will add more as they pop up!

BB Live: November Resident Band: The Frights: Week 1

“Time is the only thing that keeps bringing me down, because time is the beat of my life, and it’s all that I’ve found…”

Time can be overwhelmingly depressing to think about, and even our recent time change may have you down now that it gets dark at 4 o-freaking-clock, but lucky for you, our new badass resident band, surfy punk rockers, THE FRIGHTS sympathize. Put your eye and ear holes on “Afraid of the Dark” below! Good luck getting this tune out of your head…

Note, these dudes are currently on tour with FIDLAR, so if you want to see if they’ll be in your city any time soon, peep tour dates here: http://www.thefrights.com/tourshows.html

Thanks to TF, Block of Joy, Riot at the Zoo, Mike Delay and our sponsor, MVP!

 

SIFTING THROUGH THE NOISE: THIS WEEK’S GUARANTEED BADASSERY

Sifting through the Noise: This Week’s Guaranteed Badassery

Monday:

Alina Bea kicks off her November Residency at The Bootleg! 9pm. FREE.

The Soft White Sixties rock School Night at Bardot. FREE w/ RSVP. 10pm.

Tuesday:

Wasi @ The Hi Hat as part of Ramonda Hammer’s Residency. 9pm. FREE.

Wednesday:

BB collab w/ Sofar Sounds LA. 3 badass bands, one secret location. 8:30pm. Entrance via RSVP only: https://www.sofarsounds.com/cities/la/events/9506

 

*Will add as more pop up!

SIFTING THROUGH THE NOISE: THIS WEEK’S GUARANTEED BADASSERY

Sifting through the Noise: This Week’s Guaranteed Badassery

Monday:

It’s Mars and the Massacre’s final residency night at The Satellite! They’ll be joined by members of The Crazy Brave, PLaNETS and The Zmed Brothers to play Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety! 9pm. FREE. 

Sunday:

King Washington has the November Monday night residency at The Satellite, but they kick it off this Sunday! 9pm. FREE.

Naked Walrus Stoop Sessions Listening Party in Burbank. 4pm. $3

 

*Will add as more pop up!

BB Live: October Resident Band: elle belle: Week 4- Interview

We’ve come to our final week with elle belle, but before eb signs off, I sit down and chat with elle belle about his upcoming debut double album release (out 11.11!), one song he never skips, how the elle belle persona allows him creative freedom and more!

Thanks to elle belle, Block of Joy, Riot at the Zoo and our sponsor, MVP!

 

SIFTING THROUGH THE NOISE: THIS WEEK’S GUARANTEED BADASSERY

Sifting through the Noise: This Week’s Guaranteed Badassery

Monday:

Mars and the Massacre continue their residency at The Satellite! Black Crystal Wolf Kids are also on the bill! 9pm. FREE.

Tuesday:

Herbert Bail plays the Murder ballads and Dark Songs tribute show at The Echoplex! 8:30pm. $10

Wednesday:

Will and the Won’ts are at Lot 1, 11pm.

Thursday:

Irontom is back in town and playing at The El Rey! 7pm. $20

Saturday:

Blend LA Vol. 1 is happening! Come mix and mingle with badass bands (notably elle belle and Skin and Bones) and LA tastemakers! 2pm-8pm @ Resident. $10.

Sunday:

Badass Bands and Sofar Sounds collaboration show at a secret location in DTLA! Its an evening show, so you’ll be home at a decent hour on a school night. SIGN UP TO ATTEND THE SHOW HERE (Be sure to click the DTLA show on Oct. 30, not Santa Monica!): https://www.sofarsounds.com/la/2

 

 

*Will add as more pop up!

BB Live: October Resident Band: elle belle: Week 1

Its officially ROCKtober, and we’ve got a resident band that is absolutely fitting for it! Its time for you to meet elle belle, in all their fuzzy psych rock glory! This first track, “San Francisco is Gonna Take my Baby”, is a timeless tune that is gonna ease you into ’em real nice like, because we can all identify with surrendering to love and feeling heartbreak.

Thanks to eb, Block of Joy, Riot at the Zoo, Moosecat Recording and our sponsor, MVP!

 

BSing with Badasses: Episode 25: Skin and Bones

On this episode of BSing with Badasses, Jordan and I chat with Taylor from Skin and Bones! We discuss how busking on the Venice Boardwalk built up both the band and their fanbase, how the first jam with a potential new band member can be like a first date (or one night stand), we talk about their EP, Ghost in This Town, and MORE!

LISTEN (and subscribe!) HERE.

BB Live: September Resident Band: TUFT: Week 4-Interview

As per usual, we spend the last week of a BB Live residency getting to know the band! So, in this episode we chat with TUFT about songs they never skip, their favorite bands/live performances, why they each started playing music, the role community plays in the music scene, and more! Check it out below!

Thanks to TUFT, Block of Joy, Riot at the Zoo, and our sponsor, MVP!

 

BB Live: September Resident Band: TUFT: Week 3

Well shit, September is just flyin’ by folks! We are already at week 3 with our radical BB Live resident band, TUFT. So, get comfy, and get ready to vibe along with this ethereal, jammier track, “Stills”!

Tune in next week to meet the band!

Thanks to TUFT, Block of Joy, Mike Delay, Riot at the Zoo and our sponsor, MVP!

 

SIFTING THROUGH THE NOISE: THIS WEEK’S GUARANTEED BADASSERY

Sifting through the Noise: This Week’s Guaranteed Badassery

Tuesday:

Pom Poms continue their September Tuesday night residency @ Harvard & Stone! 9pm. FREE

PLaNETS, Mars and the Massacre, Black Crystal Wolf Kids, Burning Jet Black and more celebrate Nevermind’s 25th anniversary with a Nirvana tribute at The Satellite! 9pm. FREE

Thursday:

The Echo and The Sound @ The Hi Hat. 8pm. $7

Saturday:

Dear Boy at Tarfest @ The La Brea Tar Pits. 6pm. FREE

 

*Will add as more pop up!

Bb Live: September Resident Band: TUFT: Week 2

Its Monday and we’ve got another killer track for you from this month’s BB Live resident band, TUFT! Put your ear (and eye) holes on “Sheep”! Listen hard to these lyrics, this one is especially beautifully written, and is easily my favorite TUFT tune to date. By the end I guarantee you’ll be singing along to, at very least, the catchy-as-hell chorus, “I am a sheep dressed like a wolf. Likeable enough to never get the truth. I am a sheep dressed like a wolf.”

Thanks to TUFT, Block of Joy, Mike Delay, Riot at the Zoo, and our sponsor, MVP!

SIFTING THROUGH THE NOISE: THIS WEEK’S GUARANTEED BADASSERY

Sifting through the Noise: This Week’s Guaranteed Badassery

Tuesday:

Pom Poms continue their September Tuesday night residency @ Harvard & Stone! 9pm. FREE

Saturday:

Bedrocktoberfest @ Bedrock LA (Echo Park) ft. AndyClockwise & more! 6pm. FREE.

Alina Bea @ Chinatown Moon Festival. 5pm. FREE.

 

On Tour:

Zachary Kibbee is on a West Coast Tour starting Sept. 8. See dates here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1280937315280090/

 

*Will add as more pop up!

BSing with Badasses: Episode 24: Nick Maybury

On this episode of ‘BSing with Badasses’ Jo chats with guitar virtuoso Nick Maybury about how he got his start in Australia, his upcoming EP, the differences between being a signed artist/indie artist, his favorite moments in his impressive career so far, and much more!

Listen to the interview here and subscribe to get automatic updates when we release new episodes!

BB Live: September Resident Band: TUFT: Week 1

Sweet harmonies? Check. Stellar lyrics? Check. Super tight? Check. Killer overall vibe? Check. Something for everyone? Check.
Our new resident band, indie pop rockers TUFT, have all the bases covered for ya! They’ll be stickin’ around all September long, so check back every Monday from here on out for a new live performance video!
Thanks to TUFT, Block of Joy, Mike Delay, Riot at the Zoo and our sponsor, MVP!

 

 

SIFTING THROUGH THE NOISE: THIS WEEK’S GUARANTEED BADASSERY

Sifting through the Noise: This Week’s Guaranteed Badassery

Monday:

The Deltaz @ Harvard & Stone. Free. 9pm.

Tuesday:

The Bones of JR Jones @ Hotel Café! 8pm. $10

Pom Poms start their September Tuesday night residency @ Harvard & Stone! 9pm. FREE

Wednesday:

The Record Company @ The Grammy Museum. 7pm. $20

SF- Down and Outlaws at Bottom of the Hill. 8:30pm. $10

Saturday:

The Pocket Rockets @ Acerogami. 9pm. $12

On Tour:

Zachary Kibbee is on a West Coast Tour starting Sept. 8. See dates here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1280937315280090/

 

*Will add as more pop up!

BB Live: August Resident Band: The Singles: Week 4-Interview

Our month with The Singles has come to an end, but not before we chat this trio up about Craigslist success stories, hidden talents, waiting for Bon Jovi to call and more! Peep the interview below!

Thanks to TS, Block of Joy, Riot at the Zoo, and our sponsor, MVP!

SIFTING THROUGH THE NOISE: THIS WEEK’S GUARANTEED BADASSERY

Sifting through the Noise: This Week’s Guaranteed Badassery

Monday:

The Absolute @ The Mint. 9pm. $

Tuesday:

Final night! Kat Myers and the Buzzards @ Hotel Café! 9pm. $10

Wednesday:

The Active Set @ Harvard & Stone. 9pm. FREE.

Thursday:

Folk Riot @ Hotel Café. 10pm.

Saturday:

The Crazy Brave @ O’Brien’s in SM. 10pm. FREE.

 

*Will add as more pop up!

BSing with Badasses: Episode 23: The Shakers

On this episode of ‘BSing with Badasses’ we have OG badasses, The Shakers, in to meet their new lead singer, Blaze, plus we discuss new music, upcoming shows and we preview a new track, “Take a Little Fire”.

Tune in (and subscribe) here!

Recorded at Block of Joy!

BB Live: August Resident Band: The Singles: Week 3

Last week we were heartbreakingly doormat status with The Singles, but this week, we’ve dusted ourselves off and aren’t taking anyone’s shit, no matter how much we dig ’em. Peep this week’s track “Don’t Need Your Love”!

Thanks to TS, Block of Joy, Mike Delay, Riot at the Zoo, Joshua Cobos, and our sponsor MVP!