Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Listen: Night Beds - "Tide Teeth"

Late last year when Nashville based outfit Night Beds released "Me, Liquor & God" I was cautiously optimistic about the new direction singer/songwriter Winston Yellen appeared to be taking. The shift in style is subtler if you followed Night Beds' every action and not just their own major releases - namely Yellen featuring on Tomas Barfod's "Sell You".  While Yellen's flirted with electronic music before in the guise of the swirling dream pop that pillowed his soft, doleful tenor, he never outright committed to the electronic influence entirely - instead tapering it with the jammy folk pop stylings of Country Sleep and "Head For The Hills". "Tide Teeth", the latest single from Night Beds, however asserts that the heavy electronic lean of "Me, Liquor & God" might very well be here to stay.

"Tide Teeth" places Yellen much more aggressively in the R&B camp that "Me, Liquor & God" could be plausibly denied being apart of. There's no mistaking the influence and the sound here for better or worse. The songwriting on "Me, Liquor & God" was reminiscent enough to Country Sleep/Every Fire, Every Joy that it was easy to find solace that the even in the shuffle, the soul of Night Beds would endure. "Tide Teeth" however, you're not so sure but Yellen's voice is a rather charming fit for this new direction and the use of autotune/processed vocal effects is tastefully deployed. The new direction is sure to be a jarring realization for those of the barely there electronic-tinged dream pop of Night Beds' earlier days but there's a much more subtler level of musicianship being cultivated as Night Beds try to distinguish themselves from the pack of other electronic leaning bands. Luckily for Night Beds Winston Yellen's voice (both aurally and lyrically) has always been it's key ingredient and as long as the band don't lose sight of that in even their most exploratory, experimental pop-embracing moments, they'll be a band worth listening to.

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