Album Review: The Night Owls – The Night Owls

The Night Owls are a singer songwriter duo from Montreal, Canada. They’ve featured once before on our blog, in February when Jane ran the rule over their debut, self-titled single release. It’s a track that features on their debut album of the same name.

By Graeme Smith

The Night Owls are Simon Arsenault and Marianne Bourgeois. Simon’s background is as a professional musician, working on projects as diverse as classical music, jazz and progressive rock. Marianne is a self-taught singer songwriter who has transitioned from studying cinema and psychology to writing and performing music.

Their album opens with its title track, featuring the ambient sounds of night (including, of course, an owl hooting) and delicate acoustic folk. Vocal harmonies come in, delivering atmospheric storytelling lyrics that paint an melancholic picture of the night. As the track progresses, its instrumental complexity grows. It’s an arresting start.

My Lighthouse transports us to the seaside and gives us bluesy licks and romantic lyrics. Like You Promised is piano-led and contemplative while Dead End Romance brings with it some funky, throwback soul. Genre-wise, The Night Owls has a new surprise for the listener around each corner.

I Want You Close opens the second half of the album with a long, pensive progressive rock odyssey. At nearly eight minutes long, it’s certainly a focal point. I’ll Stay returns to the acoustic threads laid earlier in the album with a bittersweet guitar and layered vocal arrangement. Under The Stars brings us back to the night with an ethereal, experimental, choral twist. When The Sun Rises Again rounds off the album with a gentle, lingering six minute meditation.

With this debut, The Night Owls have set their ambitions high. It’s a heady mix of genres with plenty of musical boundary pushing. On the whole, they’ve nailed it, and The Night Owls is a cohesive and rewarding listen.

The Night Owls is co-written by Simon and Marianne, and produced by Simon. Mixing is by William Gaboury, and Mastering by Richard Addison. You can give the album a listen below.