There’s just something about Motown music that does it for me. The lyrics are brimming with passion, the voices overdosed on soul, and when you hear a song it seems to take you over completely and make you feel its joy or heartbreak right down to the core. It is an all-enveloping listening experience.
So when the Motown sound began creeping back into modern music I was finding and loving a few years back, I was thrilled. I grew up with this music, and it brings me back to a place where music is pure and perfect. In my journey through the resurgence of this sound, I ran across Austin-based band The Nightowls – a whopping 10-piece soul band whose music is filled with that same passion I adored as a girl.
Today I’m introducing you to them in my 5 Q’s series that highlights all the Texas-based bands I love. Band front man and lead singer Ryan Harkrider shares everything you need to know to fall in love with The Nightowls like I have:
1. Where did your band name come from?
Ryan: As artists, we live at the mercies of their own creative tendencies. For me, most of my song ideas happen at 2 a.m., so I’m often chasing down melodies, lyrics, etc. through the middle of the night. I thought that The Nightowls was a great way to pay tribute to these habits.
2. How would you describe your music?
Ryan: An addictive blend of pop, R&B, funk and Motown.
3. What three bands or artists have influenced you?
Ryan: Bill Withers, Stevie Wonder, Raphael Saadiq.
4. What one song by The Nightowls should a new fan check out?
Ryan: “You Don’t Have to Worry (I’ll Be There)” – it’s a great showcase of the band’s Motown/soul sound – soaring horns, sweet harmonies, catchy lyrics and a very dance-friendly tune.
5. The easiest and hardest question – why do you love music?
Ryan: I love everything about music. It’s important to me because it has become my second language. And the ability to express my feelings, thoughts and ideas through that language is truly a beautiful thing.
5 Q’s is an ongoing series and my effort to introduce you, dear reader, to some of my favorite bands from around Texas that I go to see frequently. If you like what you hear, I encourage you to follow them on social media, buy some music and tell them to visit your part of the country (or world!) soon.
Next month, I’ll introduce you to one of my favorite Houston bands I’ve seen this year – Brand New Hearts.
Want to get to know some more awesome Texas bands I know? Check out the 5 Q’s archives.