EP Review

Night Tapes – Download Spirit: EP Review

Night Tapes return with another EP full of lush, city skyline gazing, dream-pop.

Released: November 27th 2020

Label: Breaker Breaker

Format: Digital / Cassette

Night Tapes started out as evening jams between housemates Max Doohan, Sam Richards and Iiris Vesik in London. Hailing from London, they aim to offer ‘genre-blending, multi-fidelity recordings and honest reflection to contribute to their atmospheric soundscapes that ultimately make for fresh and envelope pushing dream pop.’ They’re not wrong. Throughout the five tracks on show on Download Spirit, Night Tapes deliver a neon laden, nighttime ride through lush melodies, ethereal vocals, pulsing bass lines and wonderfully textured songs.

Night Tapes
Night Tapes

Fever Dream Kids opens with a swirl of guitar and synths before the steady beat and bass lay the foundation of the song. The vocals soar and cut between guitar melody lines where you’re unsure whether the melody is being sung or played. The song goes through a cavalcade of permutations during its short four minute duration that shows the ability of the band to layer their music sublimely.

The title track, Download Spirit, could essentially be two songs. Opening with more delicious vocals that take centre stage, the track morphs into a hypnotic and psychedelic trip. An undulating bass line underpins the song as feedback heavy guitars play off around the vocals and bass. There is a charm in the harmonies that the collective voices of the band brings too. Closing strains of the song sees the drum beat become more sparse as the synths dance around the core of the song. There are definite Vaneglis vibes in the closing that seems to begin a second part just after half way through.

I Was An Angel is much more subdued with warm synth motifs layered will with light percussion. As the EP unfolds, it is clear that this trio have a lot of musical ideas among them. Sometimes, so much going on can feel cluttered and overbearing but Night Tapes do enough to walk the fine line of offering too much, coming out on the right side of it.

In a more standard song make up, Truly Being Alive has harsher vocals. There is a guitar/bass line that wouldn’t feel out of place in many a New Order composition. An anthemic feel grows with the drive of the bass and vocal that would provoke a great reaction in the live environment. You could imagine this song being played at sunset at a festival. In Poly Amber closes out the EP with a switch up on the vocal duties. The song echoes and chimes with warmth that again has you imagining evenings in the big city with lights twinkling, whilst you get lost in the dreamy worlds that await.

Download Spirit is a brilliant EP that is full of many twists and turns to excite. You would certainly categorise it as dreampop but there is plenty more at play. If you are a fan of bands like Air, The xx, Cigarettes After Sex, Chromatics, M83 etc, then Night Tapes’ new EP will offer you plenty of aural pleasure.

You can buy Night Tapes new EP from Bandcamp below.

Night Tapes: Bandcamp / Instagram / Facebook / Twitter

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