Review Summary: Head over heels.
Ever since Nightstand
’s release, I have been trying to explain my love for indie rock artist Tancred’s new album through a review. Somehow, no far-fetched metaphor or comparison seemed appropriate until a late night listen to the album made me realise that the simplest, most obvious and pretentious one is just right: love.
Besides listening to music, my nocturnal activities often include over-thinking. Any remotely existential question starting with ‘why’ is often sufficient, yet one of my favourites is wondering why we fall in love with the people we fall in love with. As lamented by many singers throughout the years, love seems to be both an extremely complicated and an extremely simple thing. On the one hand, no one seems to properly understand why we fall in love. Google searches on the topic tend to result in lists by pseudo-psychological websites stating that ‘similarities’ and ‘filling needs’ are reasons as to why people fall in love, but what exactly does that mean? Isn’t it just chemicals in the brain doing some chemical thing？
On the other hand, no list of ‘attractive features’ of someone explain exactly why you are in love with them; you simply are. Somehow, this ‘simple love’ seems very applicable to Nightstand
. It would be rather easy to make a list of reasons to love the album: good vocals, nice melodies, interesting instrumentation. However, listing these good features does not accurately explain the reason for having the record on repeat for two weeks straight. If anything, it’s about a feeling. A feeling that is extremely difficult to explain.
Much like with people you fall in love with, every single aspect may be beautiful, but everything together is something different, something unique. Throughout the record, Tancred manages to maintain a constant indie rock aesthetic while subtly experimenting. Certain tracks flirt with shoegaze while others give off a grunge-inspired vibe, without ever distracting from the fact that this is a Tancred album. Most impressively, everything feels right, no songs feel out of place. Every aspect of Nightstand
has something unique, something memorable, resulting in an extremely satisfying full product and experience.
Especially the amazing mid-album stretch from ‘Hot Star’ to ‘Underwear’ is something to fall head over heels for. The latter is the absolute highlight of Nightstand
, combining soothing, dreamy verses with a punchy chorus creating an intriguing sense of dynamics. There is something about the song, and for that matter, the album, that simply feels ‘good’. It’s hard to shake a feeling of simplistic joy when playing the record, with just enough catchy and memorable moments to warrant many listens.
In the end, everything comes back to the simple fact that you only fall in love with some people, and it is entirely based on a feeling. Cliches like ‘nobody’s perfect’ apply everywhere, but what does that matter when everything feels right？ A lack of variety, a weak start, it all holds very little weight when an overwhelming sense of comfort is present afterwards and throughout.
is not an album that makes you want to fall in love; it is an album that makes you happy you are in love, whether that is with another person, life, or, *** it, the album itself.