Oakland’s weirdo-pop group Club Night is no stranger to practicing patience, especially for their debut record, What Life, set to be released on Tiny Engines.
The release of it was originally attached to their upcoming Noise Pop performance, but will now be postponed until April because the high demand for vinyl these days caused a back-up at the plant. Guitarist and vocalist Joshua Bertram’s attitude isn’t hampered by the arbitrary delay, instead he sees it as an opportunity to refocus and refine. “It’s a living, breathing organism. It’s not always going to be on, it’s in these different stages of process all of the time,” he said. “Sometimes it’s just muscle memory and you’re playing the songs, other times it feels completely new.”
Though What Life was recorded last year, the songs remain fresh and invigorating — a hallmark of Club Night’s frenetic sound. With this record they illustrate a loose control of the fevered energy that writhes throughout their songs, from winding guitar riffs to the bright splashes of Bertram’s singing. Central to Club Night is a intensity of emotive expression, conveyed by Bertram at the forefront but held aloft by the tightly woven fabric of the rest of the band. It’s fun and inviting, while remaining powerfully personal.
“I feel like a special part about having new music to share is finally getting to see how it interacts with people and finding out if the ideas and sounds you were interested in exploring a year ago resonates with others,” he said.
While they’ve waited for the record to get its proper release, Club Night has been able to tour the East Coast, play dozens of local shows, and endure changes to their lineup, all of which Bertram credits with strengthening the group. The solidarity of their debut EP Hell Ya propelled them into the hearts and minds of the Bay Area DIY scene, showcasing both their commitment to crafting unique music and exhilarating performances. This cycle of writing, recording and playing live is what the group feeds on.
“It’s all draining in different ways, but that’s the beauty of writing and playing music,” Bertram said. “You get to wear all these different hats during the process. Writing and recording can be freeing creatively, but then you have to recreate the songs to play them live.”
Patience has been the band’s mantra for some time, but recently they’ve been working to recalibrate and gear up to write new material. Following and trusting in the process comes easy, but working to endure the wide array of struggles that face any artist is tough — still, the goal for Club Night is to create music that moves them. According to Bertram, to make a piece of art that you can be satisfied with, you have to take the proper time. “Sometimes I think to make something great you have to delve in and dissect it yourself,” he said.