Night School Shares 'July,' an Empowerment Anthem for Singer's Daughter: Premiere

Night School
Courtesy of Noisy Ghost PR

Night School

Night School has gone through some major changes for Disappear Here, its second full-length album -- as evidenced by the first single, "July," premiering exclusively below.

While the California trio mined doo-wop and '60s pop influences on its previous EP, 2014's Heartbeat, and 2016's Blush album, Disappear Here has a lusher ambience and more pronounced, and at times muscular and even psychedelic, indie rock feel.

"I made a conscious decision not to have that same kind of sound we did before," singer-guitarist Alexandra Morte, a seventh grade English teacher by day, tells Billboard. "I wanted to get into something that was just more my own personal style. I tried NOT to have influences with this record, to be honest with you. I tried to write from what I was feeling at the time and just try to create that way."

Morte and bassist Cheyenne Avant spent nearly two years working on material for Disappear Here, recording the nine-song set with producer Nick Bassett in Oakland. Sonically, Morte wanted to specifically "move away from having so much distortion on all the songs and explore a cleaner sound." "July," meanwhile, is a track Morte wrote for her own 12-year-old daughter as a timely message of empowerment.

"I just wanted to write a song that encouraged her to speak her voice and express to her that she has a voice and that things she has to say really matter," Morte explains. "It's important for young women to hear that message, especially now. They need to speak out and be heard. So in a sense it's not only for her; It's for any young woman that feels like they don't have the courage to speak out."

Night School went through a major change during the process of making Disappear Here. Drummer Baylie Arin, who co-founded the group with Morte, left mostly due to lifestyle issues, replaced by Cara Millar. "It was a difficult transition at first," Morte notes, "but Cheyenne and I are still great friends with (Arin). We totally respect her choice. It's not out of the question for her to rejoin the band at some point later on. She plays guitar as well, so we've talked about her maybe rejoining the band on guitar at some point."

Meanwhile, the current Night School trio is gearing up for Disappear Here's April 5 release, and then for West Coast dates, with hopes for broader touring later in the year -- and likely at venue's Morte's students won't be able to get into. "(The band) is not something that I share with students, just because I think it takes them away from viewing me as a teacher," Morte notes. "But, of course, Google exists now. They like to Google their teacher's name, so they are finding out I'm in a band. A lot of them find it interesting and want to ask me questions about it, but I try not to go into too much detail with the kids."


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