LATE NIGHT EPISODE VISUAL ALBUM
As our culture progresses, so do the ways that we consume media. Musicians are all vying for your attention through new and innovative twists on the medium. As experimentation develops, few artist have taken the route of enhancing music visually rather than sonicly.
A product of the MTV generation of music, the visual album is the ultimate cinematic experience for music. Essentially a music video for an entire album, each track contains more depth and cohesion through this development in music, creating an interwoven narrative throughout the project. Whereas an artist might make one or two music videos for their album, the practice heightens the musical quality, showing the love and affection put into a particular concept. The scope and ambition needed to fulfill such a project is a testament to the artist, and is often avoided by those just rising up in the industry.
The release of Late Night Episode’s debut studio album Lay Off, doubling as a visual album, makes a bold statement. For their first commercial project, it speaks volumes, especially because of how well produced the entire project is.
The album is layered in depth and variety so there’s something for everyone here. The band's influences ooze into the music. Everyone from the Strokes to Led Zeppelin to the Gorrilaz to Third Eye Blind can be heard in the soul of each song. The bands title track “Lay Off” is reminiscent of an angsty Strokes song, while the “Go for Broke” has all the stylings of the Red Hot Chili Peppers through lead singer Daniel Lonner’s vocals and Frusciante style guitar riffs.
However, the band has something unique to offer. “Tuxedo” stands out for its reliance on melodic drums paired with expertly timed punchy vocals. “Over the Girl” stands out the most from other tracks, largely due to its spacy ambiance on an album that sounds like it’s from the early 2000’s. It’s simultaneously slow paced while holding a fast paced rhythm to create an otherworldly sound.
At the beginning of the video, the text states “a film about people with something wrong with them.” A precursor for the album’s theme, and it stays true. Most of the subject matter, while presented in a poppy unbeat style, has darker connotations hidden within the lyrics. “Smoking Kills” sings about the power that addiction holds and being helpless to do anything about it.
When Late Night Episode set out to create this album, they knew that a visual album would come along with it. When asked about the planning for the project, the band responded “from early on we knew we wanted to do something different; something that pushed up artistically and would be fun to create. Making a movie seemed like the right move.”
No two videos are like alike. The composition, as well as the theming of each video, offers enough variety to never be bored visually. The first video for “Lay Off” features collage style composition in which a variety of panels feature various members of the band singing along. The panels are ever evolving and shifting, revolving throughout the screen.
From there, the videos only get more unique. Other videos incorporate POV’s of lighting cigarettes, to skate videos, to spacey kaleidoscope-esque montages, to even a snowboarding video that features the entire band in hospital gowns shredding downhill to the beat. The variation of cinematic tools and styles keeps it fresh and light, despite the sometimes dark themes. However, videos for “Smile” and “Going for Broke” remind the viewer of the light hearted nature of the band, and reveals how comfortable and relaxed they are with each other, adding another layer to the music.
Late Night Episode’s first and latest project shows potential. Potential for being something huge. Few new artist have the guts to take an album and stretch it in every way they possibly can, but even fewer can make a well-produced visual album about love, loss, and rolling with punches.