One thing’s for sure: Night Argent don’t have to worry about the dreaded sophomore slump. The band’s sophomore EP The Fear, expected July 14th through Outerloop Records, does the band proud. The record was co-written by John Feldmann, who, apart from performing in his own band Goldfinger, has had a hand in most artists’ work, from Blink-182 and Five Seconds of Summer to Ashlee Simpson and Hilary Duff. In other words, he’s a music legend. Yet, despite the outside influence, The Fear remains very much Night Argent. Rather than imposing his own musical stamp, Feldmann helped highlight the greatest aspects of Night Argent’s talent. And trust me, Night Argent’s got a whole lot of talent.
In just six short tracks, Night Argent manages to venture from deep intensity to airy alt-pop fun before ending in wistful thoughtfulness. The first track “Mannequin” tells an intense tale of dealing with the aftermath of a broken relationship. “I’m just a mannequin you left inside these clothes / Weak inside, paralyzed,” sings vocalist Chase Manhattan. Yet it’s the theme of taking back that fire and sense of identity that was stolen by heartbreak and loss that carries through the rest of the album.
“Dreamcatcher” continues the intensity of “Mannequin” while delivering a new message, one of “not giving up your hope.” It’s perhaps the standout track off the record if a record this well thought-out and cohesive can have a single standout.
“Heartbeat” delivers an infectious alt-pop track with a faster beat (in other words, you can totally dance to it). The beat and anthemic nature of the album continue with title track “The Fear,” declaring to “set the fear on fire.” The track grounds the EP in theme and sound (and rightfully so, as it is the title track).
The pace slows temporarily with “Immortalized.” The song starts slow at first, seemingly returning to the themes of “Mannequin,” but offering more dynamic vocals and tempo.
The last track of the record, “Dream of the Ocean,” is softer and more sentimental. Cleverly starting with ocean sounds, the song reflects on the simplicity of younger years. “When children were younger, they’d run from the thunder / The fire would laugh at the rain.” It’s a pleasing ending to the album, rounding out the ebb and flow of The Fear even when you have the entire record on repeat. After all, how could you not?
The EP as a whole is an anthemic message of hope. One that should be played in an arena, and hopefully, some day soon, we will get to see the album performed in one.