15 Nov 2019

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n1ghtmar3cat - Single Review: Lost And Found

24 Jan 2019 // A review by Steve Shyu

Dave Johnston has become a musical jack-of-all-trades. Commonly known as the drummer for Aotearoa’s alt-rock champions Villainy and the creatively adventurous The Zoup, he is now putting his production and audio engineering skills to the test, creating electronic music as a new notch in his belt. Wait, he’s singer AND songwriter too? Couple more notches, please!

Alongside news of Villainy releasing new material, 2019 is shaping to be yet another eventful one for Dave. Or n1ghtmar3cat, I should say. Eager to show the world what’s poised to be the new-comer’s big single, Lost and Found was unveiled and set loose just before Christmas for all to enjoy over a barbecue in the sun.

The song is characterised with a gentle reggae rhythm dominating the verses but shifts to a low gear with a chorus built on a deep hip-hop rhythm, riddled with flurries of rapid fire hi-hats in the style of modern trap music. It’s still cool to have trap-clicks, right?

The tune bears dark tones and is on the down-tempo side, however, it is buoyed enough by dynamics and vocal grooves to dispel any preconceptions of this being a drab experience.

Whilst one may be tempted to class this as electronic pop, unlike typical run-of-the-mill EDM, the chorus doesn’t rely on repetitive, cheesy vocal hooks, but is amplified instead with layers of samples, plus densely-atmospheric and stadium-sized keyboard synths.

Featuring introspective lyrics matched with a pop melody that isn’t cringe-inducing – which, frankly, is rare for an EDM tune of the modern day. Modest in its delivery, the vocals avoid taking the forefront as some sort of guest appearance, but instead, as an added dimension to the music.

The song is smart, and the production is impressive. Personally, a very promising start for n1ghtmar3cat. If atmospheric electronic pop is your sort of flavour then go get your ears onto this one.

As a side note, any fans of Imogen Heap or the film Garden State should check out n1ghtmar3cat’s cover of Let Go. A faithful rendition delivered with heartfelt sincerity. You won’t be disappointed.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About n1ghtmar3cat

As n1ghtmar3cat, Dave Johnston (Villainy) delivers an immersive debut single from his forthcoming self-titled album. Lost and Found highlights the many distinct yet impeccably integrated facets of his production, composition and songwriting arsenal.

The captivating debut single draws listeners in through a textural, bass-driven sonic experience – which at times takes centre stage, while at others perfectly undercurrents Johnston’s sleek, hook-laden vocals.

“I wanted the production style to weave in with the lyrical themes”, says Johnston. “The track deals with feelings of uncertainty and anxiety within a relationship, and the changes in instrumental energy aim to draw you into that headspace.”

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