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.