Night Panther are no longer a band, but they’ve got some loose ends still wavering out on the internet. This week surfaced the KISS EP outtake “Our Time Is Fading,” as well as a previously unreleased Key Studio Session from early 2014. Check out “Our Time Is Fading” below and grab the full session here.
Back in November, Philly electropop outfit Night Panther announced with great modesty that, despite a steady momentum and growing Internet following, they were calling it a day. Its final EP, the Jonathan Low-produced Desire, was shared on the Doylestown band’s social media channels with the wistful note “G’night everyone, Night Panther is no longer. Please enjoy our final EP… Thanks for all the memories <3 NP”
Like most of us in the Philly music media, the news – while surprising – wasn’t a total shock. When Kate Bracaglia interviewed the band in advance of their April residency at Bourbon and Branch, they hinted at changes. And, as guitarist Chris Radwanski clarified when I recently recorded his new band Suburban Living (look for that Key Session soon), “we were gonna change our name. But then we just decided to break up.”
Philly electro-popsters Night Panther are back with a new single, “Mountain,” that you can download below. With its angelic falsetto harmonies, bouncy, shimmering, synth drums and keyboards, a beyond catchy chorus, and an earworm of a sax solo that could give “Baker Street” a run for its money, “Mountain” would make for a great addition to a mixtape of songs hat should have been in John Hughes’ movies that never were. Download “Mountain” below.
Night Panther has announced that Pattern is Movement will join the line-up for the former’s final residency at Bourbon & Branch on April 25th. Already on the stacked bill are Grandchildren and Commonwealth Choir, together closing out a solid month of showcases that featured sets by Cruiser, Nicos Gun, Purples and White Birds. Tickets and information for the 21+ show can be found here.
There are many words that come to mind the first time you hear Night Panther. One of those words is almost certainly “sexy.” There’s something so sultry about their particular blend of elements—the smooth, almost lackadaisical beats, the falsetto vocals dripping with honey—that immediately transports you to another time and place: somewhere with cabarets and crushed velvet and massively indulgent fur coats. Night Panther don’t just make sex-pop; they seem to effortlessly embody its form.
2013 was a big year for the band. They placed second in The Deli Philly’s annual poll of top emerging local bands, and their single “Fever” was named best local tune of 2013 by yours truly. This April, they’ll be residents at new NoLibs venue Bourbon & Branch, playing every Friday with a slew of awesome supporting acts. The buzz behind their name alone should be enough to put the new spot on the map.
Indeed, it seems like success comes easy to these fur-clad crooners…and in some ways, it does. But in another sense, it’s been a long time coming. The tune “Fever,” I soon find out, was written about 8 years ago when front man Farzad Houshiarnejad was playing in another band, but was shelved because it didn’t fit their sound at the time. Since then, it’s gone through years of revisions (and one previous release under the little-known “Captain Dum Dum” moniker) before being recorded for their self-titled LP in 2011. It was released in 2013.
“We’ve been working on these songs for years,” says drummer Mike Cammarata over drinks at Doylestown staple Maxwell’s on Main. “Even when we were involved with past projects, this was always something we had on the back burner.”
Actually, the whole band’s been together for years. Houshiarnejad and Cammarata have roots in Doylestown act Drink Up Buttercup, a zany, oompah-inspired garage-punk project whose thrilling bashing and Man Man-esque melodies won them props in the mid 2000’s. Keyboardist/guitarist Chris Radwanski was the manager for Drink Up, and they all lived together in a big, sprawling house in downtown D-town, with a recording studio in the basement.
So when that band dissolved, they naturally continued tinkering, and formed Night Panther soon after. (Their live line-up also includes singer-keyboardist Kelly Kurteson and bassist Jon Anderson, who is not the guy from Yes).
“When we first started out, everything was about being sexy,” says Houshiarnejad. “I’m very anal about our image. I care a lot about how things look.” Continue reading →
Philly-via-Doylestown electro pop crew Night Panther is gearing up for a busy spring. After cementing a reputation as a killer live act and seducing regional audiences through both cinematic music videos and alluring “sex pop” (as they prefer to call it) from their 2013 self-titled LP, the band just rolled out a handful of new jams this weekend via Soundcloud.
The Kiss EP is sensual as ever, but tones down the spaced-out atmospheres in favor of more direct hooks and bigger beats – which is a totally promising evolution. Check it out below, and see Night Panther’s first Philly show in a couple months on Friday, April 4th at the new Northern Liberties bar / venue Bourbon and Branch. They perform with Nicos Gun, Purples and DJ Bij Lincs of Ground Up fame; more information on the show can be found here.
Year End Mania is the Key’s survey of the things below the surface that made 2013 awesome. In this installment, our trusted reporter Kate Bracaglia talks Philly tunes.
Living in Philadelphia, I’m always blown away by how many amazing artists there are right in our back yard, crafting tunes capable of filling many, many carefully curated playlists. 2013 was no exception. There were so many great songs released this year that picking just five was really tough. And so—in support of all the unsigned and DIY bands out there—I limited myself to tunes that were self-released or on small indie labels (sorry Kurt Vile/Man Man/Purling Hiss). These are bands you might not have heard of yet, but who are very capable of becoming new faves. Happy 2013!
5. Laser Background, “Disappearing Ink”
The first tune off Laser Background’s first full-length, Super Future Montage, teems with lush vocal layers, wiggly guitar lines, and Andy Molholt’s nasally vocals. Molholt tells John Vettese the record was inspired by childhood, Roald Dahl books, and imagination, a combo that apparently yields breezy, summertime pop.
Philly electropop outfit Night Panther released its self-titled album for a hot minute on Bandcamp earlier this year, but have since taken it down in order to give the record it a more commercial push over in the world of the iTunes Store. From the release, a free download of “Queen Bitch” emerged this week. As I said over the summer, it’s not a cover of the Bowie song, but probably not an accidental title either. This is Night Panther’s power ballad, all dramatic and paino-driven and Freddy Mercury-fied. Most notably, it’s sad. Like achingly sad. For whatever the band likes to disguise itself as “sex-pop” or what have you, this is a song about eternal rejection: “She won’t ever call my baby,” singer Farzad Houshiarnejad wails. “And I know just what she’ll say.” Grab a download of “Queen Bitch” below, and get an mp3 of the previously-released album track “Pleasure To Meet You” after the jump. Night Panther plays Boot and Saddle with Grandchildren on December 28th; get tickets and more information on the show at the XPN Concert Calendar.
Night Panther and Grandchildren are kicking off the pre-New Years Eve weekend together at Boot & Saddle. The disco / dream pop folks in Night Panther released a single off of their recent debiut LP last week via yvynyl called “Pleasure To Meet You,” available for a limited time as a free download below. Grandchildren also released an LP this year called Golden Age. The orchestral pop outfit was featured in The Key’s Unlocked series back in April, where we dug into the new record and all the work that went into recording it. Check out the feature here and download “End Times” from Golden Age here. Tickets and information for the bands’ December 28th show at Boot & Saddle can be found here.