Night People is You Me At Six’s fifth studio album, released on January 6. Aiming for a big American-style rock release, the British group flew out to Nashville and roped in producer Jacquire King (Kings of Leon, Modest Mouse).
The title track and opener instantly signals a heavier and darker tone than previous records. A bluesy White Stripes-style guitar riff over a sluggish, sparse drum beat, and a megaphone-filtered vocal by frontman Josh Franceschi all add to the already prominent country vibe.
From then on, the Americanised sound continues, but in a far more subdued way. Take On The World uses soft pads and gently-picked guitars, allowing for Franceschi to deliver refrains similar to The Fray. Meanwhile, Heavy Soul resembles Kings of Leon and Local Natives, building up to their most radio-friendly chorus yet, repeating “I’ve got a feeling nobody knows that you’ve got a heavy soul”.
The band continually chase big anthemic choruses, which are emphasised well with the varying dynamic shifts from preceding sections, but in doing so either end up sounding like their previous work on Plus One and Swear, or incredibly unoriginal in Brand New, morphing U2 and Snow Patrol. On occasions, this method works. Can’t Hold Back has an assertive chorus thanks to Chris Miller’s catchy and repetitive guitar work, and closer Give sees Franceschi singing at his most emotive, giving the song the impact it deserves.
While the band is clearly trying to break out of their comfort zone, listeners won’t be.
Edited by Ginny Wong