Juniper Nights – Antidote

JuniperNights

Oxford four-piece Juniper Nights release, ‘Antidote,’ the new single  to be released off their upcoming debut EP, due in early 2018.  The bands first single, ‘So So Kelly,’ was a perfect first single, dark indie pop full of loud melodic guitar, channelling The Bends era Radiohead.

James Gallagher (Vocals/Guitar), Zach Wilmott (Guitar), and Tom Lindsay (Drums) had previously played together, and found Rob Crussell (Bass) via a musician finding website, forming Juniper Nights at the beginning of 2017.

Their new single, ‘Antidote,’ is the first song from a summer recording session at Glasshouse Studios in Oxford.  It reveals a subtler Juniper Nights, higher in production value, and evidence of a young band beginning to define their own sound.

‘Antidote’ relies on subtle melodic changes, such as single note piano lines, rather than any significant dynamic change, to provide the narrative throughout the five-minute song.  The continuous electric guitar, and intermittent piano, provides as much of the melody as the vocals.  Singer James Gallagher voice sits just on top of the music, his voice staying within a comfortable range, allowing the rest of the band to take the melodic lead. 

This song is works so well because of the small layers that get added on throughout the song, not relying on big shifts but smaller brushstrokes, revealing the whole picture one melody at a time.  The song is like a long drive on a summer’s day.  The roads are clear, the sun is shining, the destination is not important.  The quiet driving drums and an ever-present acoustic guitar gives the track a relentless, and mesmerising, forward momentum. 

Yet it isn’t all sunshine and blue skies, the lyrics give the song a darker edge.  Centred around a sense of suffocation amongst rising water, Gallagher sings “You already lost everyone you love/but the water is still rising.”  With the repeated line in the chorus “And you can’t run, ‘cause they’ve got you under the gun/and you can’t stop, or they’ll push you onto the rock.” 

Perhaps then, the song is a sunny Sunday drive, yet there is that one car, way back in the rear-view mirror, that seems to have been following all day, closely followed by dark storm cloud.  As the closing line suggests “Soon, I’ll leave here soon, at the edge of my room, in this hapless monsoon.”

‘Antidote’ will be released digitally on November 10th.  The band will be touring the UK early in 2018 in support of the release of their debut EP.  Details for upcoming shows, including November shows in Oxford, can be found here.

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Nicholas Cheek