Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Listen: Night Beds - "Me, Liquor & God"

It seems like Nashville based singer/songwriter Winston Yellen aka Night Beds is ending this year very similarly to the way he began it - with a single. While "Head For the Hills" was entrenched in the similar sounds and delivery of Night Beds' 2013 Dead Oceans full length debut Country Sleep, "Me, Liquor & God" sees Yellen returning to the electronic-infused tapestries of his Colorado Springs roots with an updated twist.

Rather than the soft-focus dream pop of the Every Fire; Every Joy EP, "Me, Liquor & God" is hard-hitting pop. Yellen has been no stranger to pop music but where the pop previously diluted/supported by other elements like folk rock on Country Sleep standout "Ramona", "Me, Liquor & God" is a radical step for Yellen's more subdued delivery. Make no mistake - the Night Beds' frontman is hopping on the R&B inspired bandwagon but the trendiness of the tune is subverted by the strength of Yellen's songwriting. It's easy to miss it given how catchy and cool the track is but Yellen's voice is not unlike that of his more folk rooted efforts - despite the obvious vocal processing.

It's a surprising step for Night Beds but one in which the effects can't be seen - in stepping out of his comfort zone, Yellen continues to flex his songwriting chops in a  remarkably effective way. It remains to be seen if Yellen will continue in this vein, that of earlier release "Head For the Hills", or if he's pursuing a sound all together different but it a treat to hear something new from the Night Beds camp especially when it demonstrates Yellen's desire to play around with his sound. If nothing else, that'll serve to make sure the next Night Beds record is different than the last.

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