Music Review: Night of Joy by Songs For Sabotage

Catie Laffoon

Night of Joy is the latest release from American alternative band Songs For Sabotage. Lina Sophie and Richey Rose met in a Brooklyn bar called Night of Joy in the fall of 2017. Having bonded over a mutual love for Swedish pop, 80s alternative and electro from the early 2000s, they later formed Songs for Sabotage in early 2019.

In August 2019 they played their debut show at Bushwick’s the Sultan Room and since then have released three self-produced singles with a couple of b-side remixes before May this year. The two have now relocated to Richey’s hometown of Lexington in Kentucky and here they wrote and recorded their first full-length album Night of Joy

Night of Joy focuses on the duos final year in New York and each track is inspired by a different big city cliche. The classic New York rat race of having no space, the toxic people who are driven by parties and how it feels to be in the centre of a huge metropolis and still craving an escape. 

The seven-song album features previously released singles Fire, Metal and Drifting, as well as a cover of the classic Peter Murphy track Cuts You Up. 

Opening the album with a punchy looping beat is Sabotage. The lyrics draw you in with a caress from Lina’s lulling vocal tone. Although upbeat, the vocal melody remains airy and gives the song a sense of gentleness. 

The bright jangly guitars add a lightness to the track which works really well with the vocal melody. Adding a deeper layer and an interesting dynamic to the track is Richey’s vocals. Their two voices are showing two sides of the same story, with one being light and the other with a warm timbre. 

The second track is Urgency, this features a distorted and fuzz filled opening which has you hooked from the get-go. Showing great contrast from the previous track with a darker melody Urgency has grungy guitars which come to slide over the top of a smooth vocal melody. These guitars take on a heavier tone in the chorus to give Night of Joy a rockier edge.

This track also features both Lina’s and Richey’s vocals. The layering of vocals helps to create an atmospheric vibe which only continues to build throughout the track. 

Catie Laffoon

Fire opens with jangly guitars which I am coming to assume are a huge part of Songs For Sabotage’s sound. A pulsating beat follows soon after which is an unrelenting force through the entire duration of the track. 

Once again the guitars are a prominent feature of this track. These come and go throughout the song and you are often left anticipating the moment that they will arrive again. 

The reverb on Lina’s vocals creates an otherworldly sound which you find yourself lost in with no hope of a way out, which honestly is not something I’d be worried about. 

Next up is Metal. A dramatic opening piques the listener’s interest as it is nothing like you have heard so far from Songs For Sabotage. 

Vocals from both Lina and Richey are again heard on this track. These come together seamlessly to create a combined entity. It almost seems like they have fused their voices together to become one. 

This is a more laidback track compared to the ones heard previously however It is still quite upbeat and has a driving rhythm. The bass is the most interesting part of this track for me. It has a groove which exudes coolness and makes it front and centre of the instrumentation. 

Closing the album is Cuts You Up, a cover of the Peter Murphy classic. Songs for Sabotage has added their own to the track and have given it an infectious rhythm which makes you want to move. Ending with a classic fade out the track is the perfect closer for the album. 

Night of Joy is a great debut album from the duo. Although there is an overall melancholic vibe, Songs for Sabotage have at times expertly covered this with compelling melodies and catchy choruses.

Each song has its own intricacies and every track works together to create a combined piece of music which is wholly interesting. If you are looking for an album with creative sounds and dynamics then I more than recommend you check out Night of Joy.

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