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“Nightwatch” is the sort of song that hides behind an unassuming facade only to linger on in the corners of your mind, a specter haunting your subconscious. It’s the product of Brooklyn duo Acrylics, who were featured on a Sunday Sampler back in October of 2009 on the strength of a track from their debut EP. Now the pair is preparing the release of their first long-player, Lives and Treasure, which will hit shelves on March 1st thanks to Friendly Fire Recordings.
Vocalist Molly Shea possesses a voice which could go in a million directions. It’s as easy to imagine her singing torch songs or Top 40 hits as it is to sidle up next to her performance on “Nightwatch,” a slinky, slick piece of poppy indie rock.
Synth pads float their tones in a fog behind the verses, then guitar chords make the most of both the up and downbeats in a manner which reinforces the 1980s vibe. (Certainly I’m not the only one who hears echoes of Spandau Ballet, right?) First and foremost in the mix, however, is Shea’s vocal performance, rendered crisply and calmly–even when double-tracked in self-harmonizing glory.
When “Nightwatch” strikes its choruses, it does so with an uplifting release–both metaphorically (with its resonant chords) and literally (with its lyrics: “I believe in truth / I believe in infinity”). The choruses offer a nice build up to the song’s concluding bridge, a distinctively flavored passage flanked by a simple yet pretty piano progression and a haze of reverb swaddling Shea’s singing. Acrylics pulls off the performance with surprising smoothness and what can perhaps best be called earnestness; there is an honesty to “Nightwatch” that makes each subsequent listen more rewarding.