Nightmare Air is an indie-pop/noise-pop/shoegaze trio from Los Angeles. The band is co-fronted by Dave Dupuis (guitar, vocals) and Swaan Miller (bass, vocals). Dupuis is also in the shoegaze/dreampop band Film School.
Nightmare Air has sort of a unique sound that’s as reminiscent of the pop bliss of Metric and the epic noise of A Place to Bury Strangers. They’re better at meshing those two things than most. It’s like they’re out-Joy Formidable-ing le jwah for-mee-dah-bluh.
This is yet another in the continuing series on artists from the Saint Marie Records roster. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be able to find more than a few bands that you’ll like a lot on that roster.
The first time I listened to High in the Lazers, I thought it was “pretty good”. The second time I listened, I really got it. I realized about halfway through the second listen that it’s actually a “great” record.
I got a very late start on writing this post, so I’m just going to get straight to it.
“Icy Daggers” by Nightmare Air
Here’s the video, which features Brian Aubert from Silversun Pickups:
For the first 1:25, it sounds like a nice pop song. Smooth female vocals, catchy bass hook, nice poppy drums. The hammer sort of drops right then at 1:25. It’s still fundamentally a pop song, but it’s so much noisier and guitar effect-oriented and it’s so much tastier than I originally thought it was going to be.
That moment when the hammer drops and the noise comes in. It’s like cresting the first hill on a mega rollercoaster. The fun part. The steep drop. The adrenaline rush. It calms down, but just like the rollercoaster, it crests another big hill and we get that same rush again. When the ride is over, we’re not ready for it to end. We’re ready to go again. And so I always listen to this song again and again. And again.
It’s just noisy, beautiful, delicious fun.
The rest of the record is very good, too. Unfortunately, I hate the album art. However, I don’t let it change my opinion of the music.