Ease back in your chair, strap your headphones on, close your eyes and ease yourself into the synth-driven, emotively dark yet catchy world of The Nightmares.
The Newport, South Wales quartet of Adam Parslow (vocals and guitar), Eleanor Coburn (keys), James Mattock (drums) and Benjamin T. Mainwaring (bass) formed having previously played in bands together and, as Adam puts it: “We knew that the four of us together shared the same influences and motivation to play music.”
Our first taste of their deliciously dark indie rock sound is their self-titled debut EP, which was released on Friday (12 April). Speaking ahead of its launch, Adam told us: “We can’t wait for these songs to get out into the world. We are incredibly proud of the EP, and people should expect an honest and emotional group of songs.”
It opens up with the synth-driven, eerie opener Half Awake. Big synth sounds start it off with a laid-back little lick creeping in then dropping into an atmospheric verse of lighter synth and a bass plugging away. A moody chorus follows and gives way to the opening synth and riff.
Next is the more lively Kaleidoscope Mind, which opens up with jaunty guitar chords then calming vocals “Kaleidoscope mind, all the time, all the time” that are swiftly answered by big singalong vocals “So close your eyes, It’s the first time in a long time, You’ve felt alive.” A burst of guitars follows, along with a cool little “tsup tsup” vocal noises, then feeds into a repeat of the brief verse and chorus. It’s a beautifully catchy little track.
On the track, Adam says: “This is a song about the feeling that sometimes comes over you when you’re alone in bed at night… when your brain starts to wander and it’s impossible to switch off.”
That’s followed by lead single Adore, which opens up with deliciously eerie synth sounds and a stabbing bass that continue under Adam’s echoey vocals. A flickering synth bursts in and drops quickly into a second verse, that builds with an atmospheric pre-chorus then a catchy chorus.
On the track, Adam says: “Adore was the second song we wrote as a band and the response to it has been amazing. It’s a song about unconditional love and that really seems to connect with people.” Check it out in the video below:
More eerie synth gets us going in the intro to From The Start, which drops into light vocals with gradually building instrumental support. It’s another cool, laid-back but sumptuously dark track.
The EP goes out in style with the excellent Dorothy, which begins with a jinking little electronic noise and a bit of rocky guitars then the bouncy synth sound continues under light vocals and gradually building synths and drums. Repeats of “Suddenly you’re there, Suddenly you’re with me” see the pace build and end on more rocky guitars, then drop into an eerie verse.
The band list their key influences as being the likes of The Cure, Alkaline Trio, Interpol and AFI, and in a weird way you can hear elements of all of the above coming through at times. As Adam explains: “It’s an indie rock band. It draws from lots of different places sound wise, but it all blends in to something of its own.”
On what inspires their music, Adam tells us: “The influence to write is always the lyrics and meaning of each song. Music can act as a brilliant way to release or vent your feelings and it’s a beautiful thing if others can relate to that.
“Everything we would like people to know is in the music and the message behind each song, so listen and take from it what you can.”
We love the sound of The Nightmares and their debut EP is fantastic, combining elements of rock and indie with electronica. It’s well worth a listen.