Night Beats, the Texas-born brainchild of Danny Lee Blackwell, are today releasing their fifth album ‘Outlaw R&B’ and sharing a new video for ‘Stuck In The Morning’. Made during the height of the California wildfires (where Blackwell currently resides), rioting in the streets and a nation in lockdown, the raucous technicolour rock’n’roll of ‘Outlaw R&B’ is a call to rejoice in some sorely needed post-apocalyptic hedonism. Out now on London-based label Fuzz Club Records, you can stream/purchase ‘Outlaw R&B’ and watch the video for ‘Stuck In The Morning’ here: nightbeats.lnk.to/outlaw
Blackwell says of the new LP: “Outlaw R&B is music for the borderless, the free, the outcasts and the forgotten. The outlaw is the runner. Those whose minds aren't sold by perfect pitch and clean fingernails. Through this medium you can escape the confines of mental feudalism and bask in the euphoric glow of psychedelic R&B.” Where the last Night Beats album (2019’s ‘Myth of A Man’ LP on Heavenly Recordings) was a distinctly polished and soulful affair, ‘Outlaw R&B’ sees the band return to their natural habitat: riotous, acid-fried rock’n’roll to lose your head to. This creative rewiring and its escapist intentions are perhaps of little surprise given the social unrest unfolding as the bulk of the album was written and recorded.
Through a vast sonic palette ranging from uplifting garage-rock, haunting gospel-country, spaghetti western R&B and thrashing heavy-psych, ‘Outlaw R&B’ is an album that thematically touches on uncertain futures (‘New Day’), psychological revolutions ( ‘Revolution’) and police brutality (‘Ticket’), to name just a few of the worlds Blackwell dives into here. In its more surreal moments, we hear of the devil doing deals with God over land in Texas (‘Hell In Texas’) or are left to imagine the Stones’ Brian Jones and Turkish Antolian rock pioneer Baris Manco jamming by a desert oasis (‘Shadow’). Elsewhere, Blackwell taps into his half-Indian heritage and Hindu upbringing by taking inspiration from 60s Bollywood films and the Indian singer Mohammed Rafi (‘Thorns’).
Night Beats are celebrating the release of ‘Outlaw R&B’ today with a new animated video for the album-opener ‘Stuck In The Morning’. Blackwell says of the track, now accompanied by visuals directed by US videographer John-Mark Lapham using pieces of the incredible album artwork by Indonesian artist Ardneks: "Where my mantra for Outlaw R&B was often ‘Stax meets Sun Records, Stuck in the Morning drew inspiration from Gold Star Studios. Brian Wilson's approach to melody and harmony and his work with Phil Spector constructing his wall of sound is a labyrinth. Finding puzzle pieces that fit in unexpected ways is my favorite, so I love to see an opening track that shatters the expectation of what to come. There's no other song like it on the record and it kind of lives in it's own world... a curve ball as the opening pitch."
With five albums now behind them – their self-titled 2011 debut, 2013’s ‘Sonic Bloom’, 2016’s ‘Who Sold My Generation’, 2019’s ‘Myth of A Man’ and, now, ‘Outlaw R&B’ – Night Beats have garnered a reputation as one of the finest purveyors of contemporary rock’n’roll hedonism around. They’ve clocked up critical acclaim, toured across North and South America, Europe, Asia and South Africa and shared the stage with the likes of Ty Segall, Osees, The Black Angels, Roky Erickson, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and The Zombies, among countless others.
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