Night Windows
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Night Windows

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Alternative Indie

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"Will's Weekend Wrap-Up"

From solo bedroom recording beginnings to its current indie rock trio iteration, Night Windows blends a disenchanted lyrical outlook with an enchanting instrumental approach. In the trio format, Ben Hughes, Ryan Buzby, and Tad Lecuyer play with equal respect to both what each other is doing and also to the spaces between their respective parts. As a fan of Pedro the Lion/Dave Bazan, I sense a kindred musical spirit in the four songs on the band’s current release Not Listening. I could tell you to start your sampling with “Not Listening”, but it’s seriously worthwhile to just dig into the whole thing. - Will Hodge, NoiseTrade


"Night Windows blows off steam about the work week in Interview"

When Philly singer-songwriter Ben Hughes isn’t busy releasing an album a month, he’s in the band Night Windows (pictured above). When Night Windows isn’t sitting on rooftops drinking Natty Boh, they’re making catchy, Replacements-esque indie rock.

The band just released a new music video for their song “Interview,” and it finds Hughes and his mates venting about those times when the 9-to-5 grind gets in the way of their more creative true selves: ”Clean shaven, making it seem like I have enough money but really it’s just a lie / I don’t even feel like myself when I’m wearing a tie.”

The video, directed by Kathleen Poliski, begins in Night Windows’ practice space and ends at triumphant house show, and gives a good sense of struggles and small glories of rock and roll. Check it out below. The song can be found on the new split EP Greetings From Night Windows & Pilkington, which you can download here. - John Vettese - WXPN's The Key


"Come on feel the Night Windows"

There is a downtrodden, yet warm, feeling that hangs over Musicasette / Magnetic Memory, the 2014 album from Ben Hughes’ Night Windows. Listening to it feels like talking to an old friend going through a tough time; their problems might not be as bad as they think, but they speak with such open conviction that you want the world for them.

Musicasette / Magnetic Memory reminds me of Cheap Girls or the Lemonheads; it is a record built on classic pop structures and understated mid-tempo guitars. Hughes’ delivery is even and steady, muted at times, but he still finds a way to deliver pathos in his tone. The record sounds like a home recording, and as such it favors the vocals, but it also give the release an aestetic harmony that I find very appealing. When Night Windows do pick up the pace, like on album standout “There’s a Friend of Mine,” the results are fantastic. One almost wishes that the band would break out of the middle more often.

That would play against type, however. The true strength of Musicassette / Magnetic Memory is in how it allows for one person’s musings to give way to you own. This is music to walk around to before heading home for dinner. - Fatter, Older


"Ben Hughes voices the struggles of the common man on this month’s album release"

New Jersey singer-songwriter Ben Hughes just released the next installment in his epic musical project. At the beginning of this year, Hughes decided that he would release one solo album per month, made up of previously unreleased recordings spanning 2005 to 2012. He reached the halfway point of his project with last month’s release, At the End of My Life. To kick off the next half of the project, he decided to switch gears his month and record an idea that’s been in his head for years.

A Week in the Life of Someone, Somewhere is Hughes’ tribute to the everyman. After working in a warehouse for three years, he decided to create an album that would reflect someone’s average work week. During the week of January 21 to the 27 of 2013, Hughes wrote two journal entries per day, which formed the lyrics of the album. Much of his inspiration came from some unfortunate changes in his workplace. On his Bandcamp, he writes,

The company I was working for, at the time, brought on new management and I watched as they mowed over everyone in the warehouse. They closed down departments, stranded workers (some with 20+ years of service), forced overtime, changed worker’s shifts and didn’t even flinch while doing so. I know the company is most likely doing better than ever right now, but it was hard for me to watch.
Along with his own experiences, Hughes tried to wrap conversations with coworkers, bosses, and even what he heard on CNN into the entries. But he moved on from the company and the journal entries, and never recorded the album.

At the beginning of July, however, Hughes decided to turn A Week in the Life into a reality. Along with his friend Ryan Buzby, they crafted the songs spontaneously, pressing record and seeing what would happen. ”I was relieved to finally get the concept album out of my mental queue, and it was exciting to watch as it took the shape I imagined it would during the 2 1/2 years that passed since that week in January 2013,” Hughes writes.

The album channels musicians like Elliott Smith, Bright Eyes, and Sufjan Stevens, as on Hughes’ previous releases. But this record immediately calls to mind Pedro the Lion’s Control, with its deep-voiced chords and melodies, lyrical themes of corporate hell, and Hughes’ slurring voice. It could stand as a complimentary album to Control just as well as it stands on its own. Regardless, it still shows a clearer picture of Hughes in the present day as opposed to 5+ years ago.

Hughes plans to release the rest of the project from August – November, covering the years 2006 to 2009 in chronological order. To cap off the year, he’ll release another album of brand new recordings in December - Nick Tate - WXPN's The Key


"Night Windows – Musicassette/Magnetic Memory Album Review"

"If you’re feeling lost and alone in your thoughts, this album will help to comfort you." - Rocking Republic


"Review of Musicassette/Magnetic Memory and Q&A with Ben Hughes"

Night Windows the band envisioned, created and executed by Ben Hughes alone has released its debut LP Musicassette/Magnetic Memory. I’ve sat with the album on several occasions listening to the sounds, the lyrics, the melodies, and the composition and I like it. In learning about this new band, I’ve also learned a few things about myself. The first thing I do when I listen to a new band, or artist is to try to figure out who the influences are and secondly I listen to the lyrics– carefully. As for the influences, we all have them, we can’t get away from our roots, and where our musical footprints have derived from. For Night Windows I hear a few I recognize, but it is balanced out with a healthy dose of Ben’s own sound to create Musicassette/Magnetic Memory which is evident and testimonial to talent.

Listening to Musicassettte/Magnetic Memory took me on what I like to think of as a music journey. I got the feelings of personal discovery through the tracks along with many different stories to tell. Often themes of personal struggle with the human condition and just making it by in the world– in a sometimes first and sometimes third person experience, so much so I can’t quite tell if Ben’s talking about himself or someone else.

There’s a Friend of Mine carries an islandish sound with strumming patterns and vocal sounds that has a familiar type of feel in such a subtle way that it’s almost new all at once (if that could make any sense). My favorite track on the album is Home, which takes the listener inward with the minor key and lyrics.

I could continue to review each song individually, speculate on influence and genere, but I won’t! I will just say that Ben is a chameleon with his vocals- something I like most about a singer and respect due to the complexity and skill that requires. He’s capable of adapting his voice to each song to give the song the feeling he’s striving for that you hear in the lyrics. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to Musicassette/Magnetic Memory I suggest you check it out here!

Night Windows will play at Ortleib’s Saturday the 21st @6pm. GO see!

Read the Q & A interview that Ady had a chance to do below.

June 18, 2014 Interview with Ben Hughes of Night Windows


Ady: You recently released your debut LP Musicassette/Magnetic Memory. What was it like to go through the process of writing and recording a full length release in your bedroom? I did read that you created this body of work all from your bedroom?

Ben: The process of writing and recording Musicassette/Magnetic Memory was a lot of
things. It was a triumph one day, a defeat the next. It was a real learning experience. I have been making albums from my bedroom since 2005, but this was the first one that I knew I’d actually release. I had a better recording set up (thanks to my friends for teaming up and buying me a new set up for my birthday), more space to work with (a music room and a garage), and more instruments at my disposal.
I’d wake up early and record before work, and then get right back to it when I got home. Then when I was done recording all of the songs, I started the mixing and mastering phase of the production. This was the most difficult for me, because I had a lot more tools to use and wasn’t sure how to use them. Ryan Buzby (longtime friend and bandmate) kind of coached me along through the process, so that helped out a lot.
As for what you read about the bedroom studio, it was a bedroom down the hall from mine that I labeled the Music Room 170.
Ady: What about your debut release are you most satisfied about?
Ben: I’d have to say that I am most satisfied that I made it through the process without losing my initial vision for the album. It was really cool to hear it all come together the way that I imagined at the beginning of the process.

Well, I did shave 5 songs off of the album, because I am not generally a fan of long albums, and it seemed more focused and stronger without the 5 songs that I cut out. Plus, now I have 5 unreleased songs from the Musicassette sessions that I can either use as singles or an EP, so it all worked out.
Ady: Where is the name Night Windows from?
Ben: Night Windows is a song from The Weakerthans album Reunion Tour (One of my favorite albums). I looked everywhere for a fitting name for this project and Night Windows just felt right to me.

Ady: As you know, Sisters Dissonance is all about the live show. when will Night Windows hit the road to play some gigs?
Ben: We are booking some shows from mid July to late August in the tri-state area. I’ll keep you posted!

Ady: What advice can you give to rising musicians? Especially those that are from the NJ/Philly area?
Ben: Don’t rely on gimmicks, don’t be an asshole, develop a good filter (friends, bandmates, etc), and most of all, focus on the songs.

Ady: And lastly the Sisters Dissonance question no one can escape: If you were a superhero what would your super hero name be and what power would you possess?
Ben: Well, it’s kind of funny — I once dubbed myself Consumption Man after a day of heavy eating and drinking, so as much as I’d hate to have that be my super hero name, I might have to go with it. Consumption Man possesses the power to consume anything and everything in sight! All for the greater good? lol - Ady O'Hara of Sister's Dissonance


"Night Windows | Musiicassette/Magnetic Memory"

"Quirky indie pop that may well remind you of the likes of Say Hi, Bright Eyes, and Swelo." - Deadly Music


"Album Review: Musicassette/Magnetic Memory by Night WIndows"

"4/5" - A Lot Like Dreaming


"A CHAT WITH BEN HUGHES OF NIGHT WINDOWS ON HIS NEW ALBUM MUSICASSETTE/MAGNETIC MEMORY"

Click the link to read full interview. - HIIBYE


"Musicassette/Magnetic Memory Review"

“First off, this has to be one of the best bedroom records ever produced … As debuts go, this one is memorable.“ - Floorshime Zipper Boots


Discography

Musicassette/Magnetic Memory [LP] (04/15/2014, Black Rd Records)

Greetings from Night Windows & Pilkington [Split EP] (06/05/2015, Black Rd Records)

Not Listening [EP] (09/11/15, self-released, tour exclusive)

Photos

Bio

With a bachelor's degree worth of debt and a series of unrelated day jobs to pay it back, Ben Hughes is a poster boy for the bursted-bubble millennial generation. He sings about being part of a downtrodden blue-collar work force, helping loved ones through hard times, and clinging desperately to his musician dreams which ebb to the margins of his days. 

Now, with Ryan Buzby & Tad Lecuyer, Night Windows has grown from its solo-bedroom-project origins into an Indie Rock band that has been gaining traction in the booming Philly music scene. Night Windows frequently draws comparisons to early Weezer, The Get Up Kids, The Shins, The Replacements & Built to Spill. 

Band Members