Photos by Sacha Lecca, Allen Ying, Cara Merendino and Alec Castillo.
The last time Monster Children caught up with indie rockers The Nude Party, they were just weeks away from playing their first-ever run of Australian shows and, most notably, Australia’s biggest music festival: Splendour in the Grass.
A lot has happened since then. COVID put a halt to their intense touring schedule—which had them playing about 150 shows a year—and brought them back to where it all began: a small town in Upstate New York, population 900, where the band and their merry band of friends and lovers reside in a rural sharehouse.
But the enforced downtime has worked wonders for the six-piece, who’ve used lockdown to create a YouTube series about two rival Italian families’ power struggle to dominate the frozen pizza market, and produce their rollicking and instantly catchy third album, Midnight Manor.
Following on from their Hot Tub EP in 2016 and 2018’s self-titled album, Midnight Manor’s twelve-track foot-tapper is a damn good time, ushered in by the short and punchy, ‘Lonely Heather’. In a world where songs are being engineered for 15-second soundbites of virality on TikTok, and a talentless rainbow-haired snitch tops the charts, The Nude Party’s Midnight Manor is a fresh breeze of good old fashioned rock and roll made to make you feel good. To find out more about the making of the album, we asked lead singer and guitarist Patton Magee to scribble down the process behind a few select tracks off the release, and here’s what he had to say. Take it away, Patton.
Infatuation with someone unobtainable. I think of the rodeo game where scores of kids try to catch a greased up hog… But that metaphor doesn’t work on most levels. It started with an upbeat piano rhythm from Don. We’d just watched Heathers, and were both a little obsessed with Winona Ryder. ‘Heather’ is like an object of desire and obsession; it’s loving the fantasy and not even knowing the person.
Shine Your Light
I’ve started to realise, with heartbreaks again and again, that I don’t really regret anyone. Because a lover can be ‘the one’ for a period of time, and that time is usually not ‘til death do us part. Even when you’re sure it’s forever, you learn that you can be dead sure and dead wrong at the very same time. The light leads through the dark but it also blinds you.
Things Fall Apart
There’s a streak of what you’d call ‘break up songs’ on this record… for pretty obvious reasons, maybe. I actually started this song at the beginning of a relationship as ‘Feels Like I’m Falling in Love’. It was more upbeat and kind of Elvis-y. But I never quite finished it. When everything turned to shit, I fell back on it with newfound purpose. Misery motivates.
What’s the Deal
This song has been kicking around in our repertoire for longer than any of the others. On our DIY tour around the US, we’d often stay with extended family members and friends, so we all came to meet mostly everyone’s entire families. We stayed with my grandma in rural Louisiana and she cooked us biscuits and gravy, we talked and hung out and had a lovely time. The next time we came through, a year later, she had suffered a stroke and was in an assisted living facility. With only the faintest memory of everyone, repeating the phrase ‘oh those sweet boys’ again and again. That was the spark that led to this song. Wondering out loud what it’s all about, and where it all goes.
Midnight Manor is now available for your listening pleasure. Stream it here on Spotify.