Atlanta’s Nocturnal Animals are back with an EP that showcases their growing capabilities as songwriters: Writing on the Walls delves into themes of the paranormal, passion, and the darkness within love.
What strikes most immediately about the release is the use of rhythm to create addictive hooks. This is most notable on “Margot”, a glowing highlight on the record that uses restraint to create growth. Case in point, the guitar frequently pulls into silence to draw attention to the quick pulse of the vocals before reentering with a new vigour. “Fever Dream” finds magic in unity as the chorus slides into a falsetto curve that evokes the track’s dreamy subject matter.
But even in dreams, there is a ghostly presence. “Haunted by your memories, a goodbye kiss in fever dream,” Mason Jones sings on “Fever Dream”, tying the track to “Shiver”’s more pop-toned, ouija board imagery of being haunted by the subject of affection. “The Haunting” concludes on the same theme: the song grows into something big and completely encased in rock, but ends on a softer note, leaving the album feeling complete in both theme and tone.
Nocturnal Animals are — by definition — creatures of the night, and this comes out in the sounds and phantoms that exist on Writing on the Walls, which will be released on October 12th, 2018.