Drive Time

Austin-Houston duo Night Drive, touting a new record and big-label backing, is going big with its dreamy future-wave sound.

NDpress2017

The music video for Night Drive’s new track “Rise and Fall,” one of the stand-out tracks from their first full-length album, the new self-titled Night Drive, reads like an acid trip, complete with “tracers” and psychedelic neon hues. Created by Japanese, New York-based multidisciplinary artist Yoshi Sodeoka, who has directed music videos for Tame Impala and Yeasayer, the video captures the mystique of the local future-wave duo, whose songs feel like new-wave interpretations of hits by ’80s synth-pop giants such as Depeche Mode and New Order.


“Can you hear me calling out? Can you hear me calling out to you?” go the lyrics, as the heads of Austin-based lead singer Rodney Connell and Houston-based keyboardist Brandon Duhon flash into view then multiply and get smeared across the kaleidoscopic screen. “Everything is slowing down, but I have no way to make it easier.”

Ever since the release of the band’s first EP way back in 2013, fans have been itching to get their hands on a full-length album. But perhaps the wait was worth it, because every song on the 11-track album feels like a single. On this one, every number makes it onto the playlist. You feel like you’ve been transported to an artfully lit disco of the future, or to the ’80s. Either way, you’ll want to stay there.

For the album, Connell and Duhon decided to stick with the same general feel of their EP, tweaking little of their unique, fan-winning sound. “It’s a continuation of what we’ve been doing. It’s a little darker,” says Connell. “It’s a little ethereal, a little dreamy, all wrapped in really up-tempo pop songs.”

The band originally planned on releasing the album, which they finished late last year, in February. But that was before they got a call from L.A.-based label Role Call Records, which promptly signed the duo after hearing some of the new tracks, adding them to a roster that includes Geographer and High Tropics. “We were going to put this album out on a regional label and go from there. But when Role Call reached out and said they really liked it, that was a pleasant surprise,” says Connell. “It’s really nice to have deeper pockets now.”

The label has already hooked Night Drive up with several promotional concerts for the album, including a Facebook Live show in New York for Marie Claire. The duo, which has played L.A. and San Diego recently, too, was also one of the few bands that got to perform at Houston’s Free Press Summer Fest this year — they went on right after H-Town favorite Miears — before the chronically inclement-weather-plagued festival had to shut down for a storm.

Busy guys. Perhaps ironically, a fan-favorite track on the new record called “Easy to Lie” goes, “Maybe after tonight, maybe after tonight there will be no more. Maybe this is the last time, maybe after tonight we’ll close the door.” For Night Drive, it goes without saying that that’s not going to happen anytime soon.

Uncategorized

AN INTERVIEW WITH Jon Heine President of Houston Market, Veritex Community Bank

What were your biggest challenges of 2020? Without question the biggest challenge was pivoting from the playbook we had to begin 2020 in order to quickly address the immediate needs of our clients, colleagues and communities. Working with our customers to provide loan payment deferrals and PPP loans through the SBA Payroll Protection Program (Veritex Bank provided over $400 million to 2,100 clients in Round 1) became the immediate priority. This involved a Herculean effort from over 120 of our colleagues in various departments of the Bank who raised their hand to assist not because of an opportunity, but out of obligation to the communities we serve.

Keep Reading Show less

Warren and Rachel Ellsworth and Betty and Jess Tutor

HOUSTON GRAND OPERA officially opened its first live season of shows in two years with a bold, colorful presentation of Bizet's Carmen followed by a fabulous crimson-tented dinner on Ray C. Fish Plaza just outside the theater.

Keep Reading Show less
People + Places

Kellie and Chad Motsinger

THE BOYS & GIRLS Clubs of Greater Houston serves more than 30,000 children and teens through its 23 clubs across the region, and thanks to a successful fundraiser last week, the organization is able to continue its mission of offering quality after-school and summer programming to Houston youth.

Keep Reading Show less
People + Places