I had a blast interviewing bands from all over Los Angeles this summer as part of our collaboration with Eat|See|Hear to spotlight up and coming local music. One of my favorite groups (and interview!) was Night Lights.
I was immediately hooked by the experimental instrumentation of their dreamy indie pop with its cascading guitar chords and grooving bass. With the addition of Mauricio Jimenez’s soothing vocals, which can move from desperate longing to upbeat celebration all in the same song (as seen in their single “Take My Hand” below), Night Lights easily became my new favorite up-and-coming band in LA.
My friends have been sending me their annual summer mixes of music that shaped their summer, and I was delighted to see Night Lights landed on four of them. But I should expect no less since the music comes from a talented group of musicians that met at the prestigious Berkeley College (which I don’t doubt is a hotbed for musical talent given the composer of my musical web series attended the institution as well).
Citing Blink 182 and Dave Matthews Band as common influences, the quartet let their diverse cultural backgrounds blend together. They found their unique combination of indie, rock, and dream pop while experimenting with emotional lyrics and tempo changes in the academic-based music culture in Boston before packing up and heading west to LA.
Since the release of their EP earlier this year, Night Lights has been working on new material. “We had a formula for how we did songs, but now we’re trying to get weird with it and see what else comes out,” Kinsey told me in June. The group is gearing up to release their next EP, set to drop in early 2017, with the first single coming out within the next couple of weeks.
“It’s been about a year since we moved out here to LA to figure out if the band has what it takes to make an impact on the music industry,” Jimenez told the LA Music Blog. “It’s crazy to see the reaction we’ve managed to get thus far. I can hardly wait to share the next couple of songs that continue to show our growth as musicians and as people. In the course of the next couple of months, we will be releasing some singles, and then our third EP will be coming out at the beginning of next year. Many good things are coming. I can feel it in the air.”
The band recently played at The Resident, and the intimate venue provided the perfect dance-party atmosphere for these dream pop indie rockers. In a town filled with aloof musicians, the multi-cultural members of Night Lights (Jimenez hails from Mexico, guitarist Yusuke Sato from Japan, drummer Dag Hanken from Norway, and bassist Jeff Kinsey is from the good ol’ US of A) were some of the most down-to-earth, jovial rockers I’ve interviewed.
The good energy translates to their stage performances as well, where it’s obvious the band is having fun and wants to make sure fans are too. They love what they do, recognize they’re lucky to do it, and are damn good at it — the perfect combination. I can’t wait to see where the next year takes them. With such undeniable talent and great attitudes, the future certainly looks bright for Night Lights.
For more information on Night Lights: