We’re happy to introduce this new feature to our readers. “My 10 Favorite” gives artists and musicians a chance to share some of the music (or art) that has inspired them on their creative journey. Each feature will also include a Spotify playlist, so be sure to follow us.
Night Club‘s Scary World was among our favorite albums of 2018. It’s infectious rhythms could provoke the dead to dance, while it’s subversive lyrics challenge the pop norms we’ve come to accept. Last year, they toured with Tricky and A Perfect Circle in support of the album. Next month they embark on a 21-date headlining tour that will take them coast to coast, playing the big cities and everything in-between.
If you follow the electronic duo on social media, you’ve already learned that their love of pop music isn’t some contrived irony. All you have to do is listen to the band to know that pop music is an intricate part of their DNA. With that in mind, we asked them to talk about the pop songs that have inspired their vision.
Night Club comes to The Church in Dallas on Sunday, October 20th. Click here for the Facebook event page. VIP passes are also available that get you in for soundcheck, a meet and greet and photo with the band, and exclusive merch.
There’s no denying we’re huge music fans. We’re influenced by many different genres of music, but obviously one we draw a lot of our inspiration from is pop music. So we made a list of 10 of our favorite pop songs that have influenced Night Club in some way whether lyrically, melodically, or simply by their production style.
The funny thing about this list though is that after we compiled it, we realized it doesn’t have much modern pop. Thinking about that we realized that’s probably because we like a certain kind of pop music: music that was actually written by the artists performing it (barring a few exceptions). There’s such a strong personality to these songs that comes from a specific POV as opposed to the factory method of writing pop that’s been happening more and more over the years. Something we always strive for when we’re in the studio is honesty, individuality, and trying to create something we think is unique to us. And these songs have definitely influenced the way we think when we sit down to write.
– Emily Kavanaugh and Mark Brooks
Blur – “Girls and Boys”
What’s great about this song is that Blur intentionally wrote a straight up, unabashed pop song. The synth-line in particular has influenced our sound so much. The lyrics are playful, but strange – and it doesn’t take itself too seriously.
White Town – “Your Woman”
We’re so jealous we didn’t write this song. It has a funky bassline that you can hear for hours. We’re suckers for dark dance music and this is a classic. And there’s just an overall darkness to this song that you feel when you’re listening to it. It doesn’t feel contrived. Plus anytime you DJ this track the place just goes off.
Britney Spears – “Gimme More”
We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: Blackout is one of the most underrated albums ever. When we were making our album Requiem for Romance we would both just sit in our studio and listen to this record over and over. A lot of the way we write is influenced by Blackout as well as the synth sounds we use. A dark dance album super ahead of its time, and lyrically very honest and raw. It was hard to pick one song because they’re all so good, but we decided on the opener. Obviously, Britney was going through some heavy shit in 2007, but damn did she make a good album from that pain!
Donna Summer – “I Feel Love”
Giorgio Moroder is a big influence on our music, and this song was basically the future of electronic pop music. The ethereal quality of her voice combined with the repetitive groove takes you on a weird trip.
Madonna – “Hung Up”
One of our favorite Madonna songs to listen to for inspiration next to “Music.” As you can probably tell, we gravitate towards anything dark and disco. The artist Les Rythmes Digitales (who produced the song) has been a big influence on Mark’s production style- the types of synth sounds he uses along with the arpeggiated rhythms.
MGMT – “Time to Pretend”
Distorted synths-meet-childlike lyrics is always an effective combo. Every part in this song is insanely catchy – the bassline, the vocal melody, each keyboard part. When we write we’re always thinking “how do we make each instrument as memorable as it can possibly be” and this song does just that.
Soft Cell – “Tainted Love”
These guys are such a great example of the beauty of minimalism. You don’t need tons of musical parts if the parts that are there are this strong. This is how we’ve always approached making Night Club songs. Create a really strong bassline as a foundation with strong melodies on top. To us, those are the most important musical aspects for a song to have.
Nine Inch Nails – “Closer”
A lot of people wouldn’t consider this to be a pop song, but we do. Also, there’s a subtle R&B and blues influence in Trent’s music that I don’t think a lot of people realize or give him credit for – which is also a big part of our sound/songwriting. It’s just a great dark atypical pop song and lyrically pushes the boundaries of what mainstream music is.
The Verve – “Bittersweet Symphony”
Lyrically this track is so vulnerable and raw and lately we’ve really been pushing ourselves to do the same with our music and lyrics. And the orchestral strings just make it sound so tragically sad.
Depeche Mode – “Never Let Me Down Again”
To us, Depeche Mode is the electronic band. They’re probably our number one band that we look to for musical inspiration as well as career evolvement. Their songs are anthemic, with haunting melodies and dark subject matter, and this song is the embodiment of everything we love about them.