written by Breton Spiller
On October 7, 2022, Night Tales released their debut album, “Proof”: a journey-like experience for listeners to embark on. With solid dynamic range, creative musical techniques, and meaningful story-like lyricism, it’s hard not to let yourself get lost in the music when listening to this album.
The duo, Kamaliza Salamba and Aaron Bannie, created a wide dynamic range on each track and throughout the entire 12-track album. It ebbs and flows so seamlessly while also never losing that progressive-house-type energy.
We start the album with an “Intro.” It somewhat acts as a trailer for the rest of the body of work. It pulls in musical motifs from elsewhere in the album. This is a short but effective piece, given its ability to grab attention and build anticipation for future tracks. We hear an arpeggiated synth lead that will come back and kick off the first full-length track in the album, “Thinking About You.”
“Thinking About You,” a single released back in April, is one of my favorites. We get that unique urban house music feel from the punchy kick and almost breaks-type drums. Layer that with smooth, clean vocals, relatable lyrics, and creative synth work, and we’ve got the essence of Night Tales.
The lyrics in “Thinking About You” also seem to start to tell the story, which I interpreted as a classic roller-coaster of a relationship. This track showcases this idea of thinking about your partner whenever and wherever, wondering if they feel that, too. This idea is paralleled later on in “Lovesong.”
We then move into three other tracks released as singles: “Patient,” “Phoenix,” and “Take it Slow.” Each song features some well-articulated house and electronica elements that keep the energy moving while continuing to supplement and work cohesively with the floating vocals.
Once we get to “Take it Slow,” it seems our story has reached a point of reflection. It’s that classic moment where people choose to slow down and figure out what they want.
Moving on to “Promises,” I found that the lyricism was the star here. It seems like an excellent realization sort of moment and the perfect next step after the time of reflection in “Take It Slow.”
The lyric, “took the time to wonder, working out how I feel, holding out for lovers, searching for what was real,” resonated with me and is what generally comes after you take time to slow down and think things through. You realize that everything may not have been as it seemed, and some promises were things no one ever intended to keep; they weren’t real.
The guys then take it back a little with “Someone to Talk To” by getting deeper lyric-wise and giving us some sweeping melodies both musically and vocally. We hear this sort of crunchy synth at the end, which I feel represents that messiness of love you’re not sure is right, but you’re also not sure you can do without.
This brings us to “Lovesong,” the Night Tales’ interpretation of the 1989 song by The Cure. As I mentioned earlier, this parallels “Thinking About You” and starts to bring our story full circle. The classic house builds and drum patterns here, paired with some low and resonating bass and the unique and creative synth work, make this a peak moment in the album.
The next track, “Lies,” gives us a bright, bouncy, and, dare I say, sassy energy that I love. It’s giving me a “yeah, I know you’ve been lying; I see right through that shit” vibe. The best part is that the sass comes from the pulsing deep-house-like bass and punchy percussive elements, which is truly a unique way to give a piece of music personality.
The final three tracks, “Be Mine,” “Fall,” and “Breathe,” really start to hammer in that “despite all this craziness, I still want this” idea that anyone who has been through any relationship drama likely knows all too well.
“Be Mine” has almost a sensual energy. There’s this bit of a build-up and release of tension throughout that I think is perfect for this moment in the journey.
“Fall” has many of the beautiful musical elements we’ve heard throughout the album and stacks many layers together seamlessly. Some subtle yet immaculate harmonies layered in, especially on the chorus parts, add a really effective level to this piece.
Everything comes together with the final track, “Breathe.” This track drives home that “I’m holding on despite it all” idea that we’ve started to touch on in the few tracks prior.
Bright, uplifting synths, contrasted throughout with what sounds like a synthesized organ, really give “Breathe” the energy of a final moment. It’s like that big scene at the end of a movie that brings it all to a mighty close.
Filled with exceptional musical motifs and techniques, bouncing bass lines, pulsing heart-beat-like kick drums, creative synth work, and more, Night Tales seem to have put their heart and soul into “Proof.”
Also, although I have interpreted Night Tales’ “Proof” in one way, I know that may not be how everyone sees it. I believe any good piece of music should be able to open the door to various interpretations. You give enough of your heart and story to your art but leave out enough for people to insert themselves into the world you’ve created.
Brilliant work from this duo all around. It’s unique; it’s creative; it’s deep; it’s catchy. I can’t wait to experience it live at a stop on their tour. I highly recommend checking them out in a city near you if you get the chance.
Listen to the Full “Proof” album here.
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