Week in Pop: Dimples, Nights & Weekends, Winstons

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Nights & Weekends

Nights & Weekends' Jenny & Daron Hollowell; press photo courtesy of the duo.
Nights & Weekends’ Jenny & Daron Hollowell; press photo courtesy of Alice Baxley.

What do you get when you group together power couple Daron Hollowell (who you probably know best as the executive producer for Best Coast, FIDLAR, Other Lives, White Iris Records founder, former singer/guitarist of Four Hundred Years, etc) along with author of NPR acclaim, & more, Jenny Hollowell? The duo of Nights & Weekends of course, who present the grand debut of their single “Half Moon Heart” found off their upcoming album debut Music for Marriage produced by Adam Samuel Goldman, available April 28 through Ring the Alarm. Together the two find a meeting intersection between their respective & pseudo disparate pursuits that conjoin together in an intrinsic off-the-clock collaboration. The two discover a generative array of expressions that are enhanced by a bond that discovers a common ground in the audio arts where authorship & constructive productions point toward new exchanges & creative dialogues between partners in marriage juggling the responsibilities of parenting and all the involved work that comes with the legal guardian job title.
“Half Moon Heart” takes old school idea of duets and fixes the concept upon the contemporary stage of sophisticated pop & sultry lover’s rock built to withstand the stress-tests of time. “Half Moon Heart” was the first song we wrote together on the record, so it’s a sentimental favorite for me,” Jenny reflected, “We wanted to write a call and response duet, trading off lines and coming together at the chorus. It’s an old-fashioned idea, but I love that the production pushes it into a more modern place. I especially can’t get enough of the sax solo, which was played by our friend Jens from OOFJ.” Daron recalled stealing away the time to find a creative vehicle for the two to share; “We didn’t set out to make a record, we were just going through this massive series of transitions and needed a creative outlet,” he explained as Jenny elaborated upon the duo’s escapism & the moments shared in creative concert; “We started writing these songs as a way to escape, but looking at them now, they’re very much a documentation of the moment we were in, about what it feels like to be new at something, and not entirely in control.”
Nights & Weekends update the Nancy & Lee chemistry for new modern advances pertaining to dialogues between hearts. Jenny & Daron together illustrate intimate & earnest expressions that are further punctuated by the syntax & style of clever chords & keys with surreal saxophone accents supplied by OOFJ’s remarkable Jens Bjørnkjær. Jens blends 2017 closer toward to 1967 where the brass bridges 50 years of radio art styles closer together in understated tones that sweeps the audio in congress & step with N&W. “Half Moon Heart” is the resounding back & forth, call & response duet form that points toward the future of the musical dialogues that are tragically underrepresented in much of today’s current musical output. Together Nights & Weekends adhere to history lessons of pop arts past with their finger on the pulse of the future that awaits patiently in the theatre wings of tomorrow.

Daron Hollowell from Nights & Weekends took the time to talk to us about the new single “Half Moon Heart” & more:
Describe how you two first met, and how the connection between producer & author came about.
We met about 18 years ago and have been married for nearly 12. since we met I’ve been making music and Jenny has been writing. We’ve always helped each other with our work in terms of giving feedback, like most artist couples do I suppose, but this was the first time we actually collaborated on songs together. we were going through a kind of tough transition and needed an outlet to work through it. So it happened very naturally. We didn’t set out to make a record, we just wanted to express something about the moment we were in. And it made sense to work together on it because it was really about us—in the middle of our relationship, each dealing with our shit. That’s what I think makes it a special record, that it’s not the love story people normally tell in art. Usually it’s about falling in love or breaking up, the beginning or the end. But this record ended up being about the middle, the work of continuing to love each other even though you’re going through a tough time.
When did you two realize your own creative chemistry as Nights & Weekend?
It really clicked with the first song we wrote together. I always write music first with lyrics coming after so I showed Jenny a song I was working on with a melody but no real lyrics and she just sat down and started writing based on the melody…it worked perfectly. Moving forward, on other songs, sometimes the music changed or sometimes the lyrics changed and sometimes the lyrics starting coming first, but things fit together really easily…if you read Jenny’s fiction there is something really musical about her prose, she really has that in her inherently. I don’t think every fiction writer would make a great lyricist but she does because she’s musical as well.
Daron & Jenny from Nights & Weekends; press photo courtesy of the artists.
Daron & Jenny from Nights & Weekends; press photo courtesy of Alice Baxley.

What was the behind-the-scenes experience like for the two of you making Music for Marriage, and how did Adam Samuel Goldman help to unleash your two respective, synergistic visions?
There were really two stages to making this record..stage one was just us writing. We tried not to overthink anything in that stage and just got as many ideas down as we could with really simple demos, again not knowing this would become a record. Adam lives right up the street from us in LA and we used to do these “porch hangs” where he’d come over to our place and we’d drink wine spritzers and just shoot the shit about the stuff going on in our lives…we’d played him a few songs and he really liked them so I sent him all the demos. A couple weeks later he came by with a complete vision of a record and that’s when stage two started….he really developed the sound we got on the record and pushed my voice into all these new places…he also got Jenny singing which she had never done before. The final product is a full collaboration between him and us.
What do you two find are the keys to maintaining a happy, creatively abundant, jubilant bond that both encourages the other’s own talents, as well as being able to come together as a creative unity (a la Nights & Weekends)?
Wow, you make it sound so functional…happy and jubilant? I love it! The truth is I’m not sure I have a totally solid idea of what makes it work. I think it’s about trying to accept the other person for who they really are and letting them be flawed and fucked up, which we all are in some way. Not expecting them to be some perfect ideal that you have in your head for what a partner is supposed to be….when people feel safe to truly be themselves then they can create and be open to you not being perfect either…maybe that’s the key to any relationship come to think of it.
#tfw when your kids crash band rehearsal; press photo courtesy of Nights & Weekends.
#tfw when your kids crash band rehearsal; press photo courtesy of Alice Baxley.

What else are you two excited about right now?
Honestly, it’s a pretty crazy time right now but I’d have to say seeing so many people, many of them relatively new to activism, come together to resist in the last few weeks has been really inspiring. I’m excited to see what we can all accomplish together.
The most important causes & activism that folks can get involved in right now?
I’m really into the Indivisible Guide. This was put together by a team of former democratic congressional aides it’s a 26 page protest guide for activist against Trump’s agenda…I think this is turning into a new political movement in the U.S. now at a grassroots level.
Nights & Weekends’ Music for Marriage will be available April 28 through Ring the Alarm.