From driving melodies to sultry vocals and shimmering synths, Night Tales delivers a masterfully produced track with “Patient.”
The single, out on August 19, follows the Australian duo’s single “Lovesong.” The electronic R&B pair aim to pioneer urban culture in the alternative electronic music space. Night Tales proves to be multifaceted as it produces everything from top to bottom: singing and performing with live instruments in a deejay environment. In addition, its goal is to “bring more eyeballs to electronic music from the Black perspective,” it says.
The thread of the pair’s music can be seen in expressing human emotion, calling on shared feelings such as heartbreak and falling in love. “Patient” does so by brining forward the emotion of waiting for one to fall in love, an intimate experience many may be familiar with.
Here, Night Tales shares with Forbes the inspiration behind “Patient,” pioneering swag and soul in a white male-dominated genre, why its music resonates with people, getting stuck in the United States during Covid lockdowns and more.
This transcript has been edited for length and clarity.
Lisa Kocay: Can you describe your sound in three words?
Night Tales: “Alternative electronic, emotional.”
Kocay: What was the inspiration behind “Patient”?
Night Tales: “‘Patient’ is about having the patience to see all points of view from every perspective in a relationship. The longer you sit with an idea, the more you can realize just how valid it is even if the idea didn’t come from you.”
Kocay: What emotion do you think in your music resonates most with people?
Night Tales: “Just the truth. A lot of what we write about is this human emotion and, whether someone’s going through a heartbreak breakup or falling in love with someone or being a little bit lost or the excitement, I think they resonate with that because we are writing about that experience, which is quite universal. It’s insular, intimate experiences that are put over the format of dance music. So in a strange way, we’re allowing people to celebrate maybe the more awkward and intimate parts of themselves, and [we’re] kind of put that out there on a big sound.”
Kocay: You’re hoping to pioneer swag and soul in a white male-dominated genre, and you’re also trying to bridge the gap between urban and electronic. Can you talk more about this?
Night Tales: “If you just look at the music landscape now, especially in the last month where both Drake and Beyoncé have dropped more electronic music, which is great, the top artists of their game, that’s got to shine a light across urban bridging of electronic. But historically outside of that, there are not many acts that are doing what we do. So both [of us] write all our music from top to bottom. We also perform live. We sing, we deejay, and I think a lot of the time, because of our…I guess the color of our skin and the perception, especially when we were doing our first tours over here, people used to want to assume that we were urban hip hop rappers or something like that.
“Then to go out on stage and perform, basically songwriter music across electronic music, [and it] kind of really blows their mind. So there are not many people who do what we do where we actually write, produce and perform. We want to be the pioneer and the gateway for electronic music to be more accessible to people of color or people who are predominantly listening to urban music, hip hop, rap or whatever it is. I think it’s about changing the narrative of what it means to be Black in today’s society. That associates directly with the type of music that people listen to, the clothes that they wear…we just want to remove preconceived ideas.”
Kocay: Can you talk more about what you think are those preconceived ideas?
Night Tales: [One is] that hip hop is the only music that Black people listen to. Hip hop and R&B can be listened to by any audience. And again, I think Beyoncé and Drake…even though house music has been known as electronic, music’s been around for a while and there have been people of color pioneering in that space. They haven’t been able to cross over the mainstream, and it’s great that you’ve got two of the biggest artists in the world that has kind of shown some light on that. [We’ve] been doing this for a minute now, so we’ve thought our fan base on that was growing there, but bringing more that to the forefront and being able to play not just electronic music festivals and places, we can go to more urban, like Afro-funk.”
Kocay: You were stranded in the U.S. during your first tour run. What was that like when writing your debut album during that situation?
Night Tales: “It was great. We actually wrote probably four or five songs in Nashville. So basically, we came over here for a two-week tour. We had New York Electric Zoo festival with The Brooklyn Mirage. We played in Chicago’s Spy Bar and a few shows in [Los Angeles]. [We] meant to be here for two weeks, and then Delta hit over to Australian shores, and that basically shut down the whole country. So we couldn’t actually fly back because Australia banned flights from international countries coming back into Australia. Luckily, the management side of our business, they’re based in Nashville. So we basically had two months in Nashville. The first song off the album and the first song we released this year was a song called ‘Thinking About You.’ That was literally about us being stranded in the [United] States, trying to get home to our families and loved ones—the hope that we will actually get there. It was pretty challenging being away from a family for that long. We definitely felt a sense of feeling loss, feeling like things were out of our control, but I feel like sometimes in those moments when you can’t control things, that’s when art presents itself in the clearest way. It’s through like the confusion that you find clarity.”
Kocay: If you could go back in time to when you first started making music and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Night Tales: “Let it go…. When we first started, you kind of get fixated on small things that don’t really necessarily add any value to the song. It’s always going to be about the song, no matter how you shine it up. If you’re writing vocals or lyrics to it, it’s what you are trying to say, and make sure you just focus more on actual the creation of the song rather than the bells and wheels that come with the production. You can sit around and mess around with a kick or an [music equalizer] with something really small mind, but then you’re not making the actual song.”