Composed of Jonathan Capeci, Joey Beretta, and Nicholas Sainato, Nightly is consistently releasing music, videos, artwork, and messages that tell a story – their story.
With well over a million monthly listeners on Spotify, an extraordinary new album aptly named night, love you., a DIY approach to making art, and a passion for being someone’s favorite band, Nightly has everything and more going for them in the music industry. Alternative pop meets indie rock dreamscapes stemming from late night drives taken with loved ones to the Jersey Shore sets the stage for a perfect debut album, not just for their fans to listen to and love, but for the band themselves to be proud of and connect to emotionally. After speaking with Jonathan, all of my thoughts about the band were proven true: they’re storytellers, creators, musicians, and artists that are blowing up online and in the music industry because of both their ear for music and eye for making something meaningful.
Listening to a Nightly song, to me, is like a warm hug from a friend. It’s deserving, it’s warm, it’s nostalgic. It’s also a lot of fun. Where do you draw inspiration from when creating such dreamy, but still multidimensional songs?
Well, that’s quite a compliment, so thank you. But you know, like, honestly it’s not super intentional. We aren’t necessarily like, “Alright, we want to sound like this.” It’s sort of just what feels good when we’re making music in the studio. We grew up listening to certain music that I just feel like was a soundtrack, for me, and same for all of the guys, where there were certain albums – like Coldplay’s Parachutes and The Killer’s first record and Switchfoot – that I just remember feeling specifically during summer time or fall or whatever. I grew up in the Philadelphia / South Jersey area and Joey and I grew up together we’re cousins. We would drive to the beach on Friday, after work, and spend a weekend at the beach. It was just like that hour and a half drive to the beach, the music that we would listen to became these seasonal moments. It was those albums that became the soundtrack in that period of my life, I think. So I feel like all the music that we make at Nightly is what we would want…. Just making music that is a soundtrack to those kinds of emotions and moments. I think that’s why it feels maybe a little bit nostalgic or something reflective, if that makes sense. That’s where we’re drawing inspiration from.
Of course, you’re trying to create music that evokes an emotion just as you would want to feel as a listener.
You’re creating imagery and you’re telling stories that people can listen to and almost feel like they’re personally involved with. Do you think that listening to the music you did and having those moments with those songs in your life helped you become the songwriters and storytellers that you are now?
I think a little bit for sure. There’s also just a degree of learning. We’ve definitely written a lot of songs, because since we were kids we’ve been making music. I think what’s influenced us as songwriters is just when you have a feeling or an emotion, you want to get out, and then you’re able to put it into a song that tells the story for you. It’s a very rewarding feeling done right and it’s not always the case. For every one song that we put out, there’s probably 10 or more songs that don’t come out, because they’re not quite there. I think the process of writing more and more has made us slightly better at communicating the feelings or emotions that we want to get across, you know?
Totally! You know, your album, night, love you., is finally here and I can say that it is some of your most passionate and cohesive work to date. What was your approach to these songs like as compared to that of past releases and EPs and such?
You know, it’s kind of like the question before where it was just sort of that I think when you’re making art, you’re making music, you kind of have this desire to evolve and I just feel like it’s a bit of more confidence over time. I think in the early music, which still obviously holds a special place in our heart, but like this album now just feels more intentional, more confident, more in depth. The approach was more intentional because when you have an EP or when you’re just releasing singles or smaller pieces of music, you really have to do everything on four songs, which is what most of our EPS were. I think one of them was maybe five songs, but still, you only have so much time, so it’s really hard to pick and choose the songs that compliment one another. Whereas when you’re making an album, you can go in depth more and you can really play with what a song is. Something is with an acoustic guitar and is kind of a very personal song and that can be smack in the middle of the record, like “older,” and then you have something like “turnpike” that has a lot of tempo. It’s very fast and we were able to experiment with these different flavors. You get a different side of the band that when you only have four songs, you know what I mean? You just have less room for experimentation because you have to make every song really count as much as possible. Whereas in the case of the album with a song like “turnpike,” it sort of takes a line from a previous song on the album and reframes it. Those types of throughlines are able to happen on the longer body at work. If you just have four songs, though, it’s really not enough time to do that. I feel like on the album, we were able to explore things like on “time online “and have a real closing track with “i got so much to tell you,” which are just songs that would have been hard to make on an EP when an EP is really just a couple of singles smashed together. There are several songs on this record that aren’t singles, you know what I mean? They’re just meant to be songs that you listen to for different times and with different meanings.
I feel like EPs are good for the music, but it’s specifically about the music, where I feel like an album can tell a story because you have the room to, like you said, give it context. Do you think that when you guys were making this album that you were intentional with the tracklist order? Should the album be listened to from start to finish to tell the story?
Absolutely. Yeah, especially with how some of the songs go into one another. If you do listen to it top to bottom, a lot of the songs will kind of transition from one to another sort of seamlessly without a stop and stuff like that. We definitely meant for it to be listened to from top to bottom. I know that once people listen to it, though, they’ll probably like to skip around and stuff, but that’s how we intended for it to be listened to.
That’s how I felt when I was listening to it. I felt a flow that just made sense.
You’re welcome. Now shifting gears a bit, a large part of your band’s career is your stellar traction on streaming platforms, which leads me to ask, what are your feelings on the curated playlists, algorithm based listening, and genre-bending aspect of modern day music? Is it helpful? Or hindering when you’ve got an album with a listen-to-front-to-back mindset?
That’s a good question. I go back and forth with it. I’m definitely very grateful for it most days, because it really is power going back into the artists’ hands. Just being someone who has been through a couple of label deals and sort of has experienced various parts of the industry, I think there is beauty in the sorting and the curation algorithm and things like that. It truly is the story of our band, as well. Our first song that we put out was really able to take off because of certain platforms like Spotify and SoundCloud and stuff. I think it is doing a good job of helping music be discovered and helping new artists be discovered. Obviously nothing is going to be perfect, though. There are days when I feel overwhelmed with the turnaround of everything – just how fast stuff turns around the sheer amount of music that is both like being released and is available. It’s kind of a double edged sword. I would say I’m like 90% glad that it is the way it is right now and then I have like 10% of days where I’m blinded but just so much music, and it feels overwhelming, you know? Overall, I definitely do love it for us. The other thing, too, is that I use those playlists as a listener for moods. I listen to a lot of instrumental music in the mornings or evenings, just because we’re writing music all day, every day. It’s sort of nice for me to have like palate cleansers accessible there. I’ve discovered types of music and genres that I probably never would have if I had to go out and find it on iTunes or in a store or something from before the streaming world existed.
That’s true, because of the spread of music on there, you can pick up something new to love without even knowing.
For that, I am a fan of it, for sure. They can feel a little bit overwhelming as an artist , though, when you’re thinking about the amount of content that’s being put out. We’re in a fortunate position where we do make a lot of music and produce the majority of it ourselves. So it’s easy for us to do. People are putting out one or two albums per year. I actually love that. I love that aspect, but sometimes you’re just like, “Man, I just like spent a lot of time on this. I would love for this to be heard now.” There’s a bit of a timeless factor that I don’t know if we lost. I mean, I’m sure that obviously in the future we’ll be able to look back and say, “Oh, things will stand the test of time,” but there definitely seems to be more of people making a record a year versus someone taking like two or three years to make one record and it being a timeless piece. That’ll just be something I think that’ll be interesting to see in the next 10 years, like what albums have stood the test of time and how they did it.
Kind of talking about the timelessness of albums. I think something that you guys have consistently done is release things that are memorable music wise, but also aesthetic. A lot of your fans, including me, are really into your album artwork, your videos, your merchandise, and just the entire brand that you guys have created. It is very artsy, but stimple. How much say or creative input do you guys have in that aspect of the band? Because I do think it perfectly reflects your sound and your style.
Thank you. We do all of it. We do 100% of it. It’s us and then we have one of our closest friends whose name is Zach and who has kind of become like another member or our sort of creative director or whatever. Zach and I, and the band, we literally do 100% of everything – all merchandise, all video treatments, everything has been all all us. I think our philosophy with that was to just be your favorite band. When we’re doing stuff, we’re asking questions just like, “Would we like this? If this was a band that we weren’t into yet and are just listening to like, do we think this is cool?” We kind of view most things that we do through that lens. It’s just that simple for us. Sometimes there’s things that people are doing that ‘fill in the blank’ might think that they should do, whether it’s a label or management or something like that. We have a great team. I’m not saying that our team would suggest that, but sometimes they’re just trying to help them. We always ask the question, “Well, do we want to do this?” Because do we think it’s something that our favorite band, whatever that band is, would do? Or is it even something we haven’t seen done yet? Let us do it.
All of our visual stuff, whether it’s Instagram posts, or, like you said, videos, we just try and think of it through that light of like, “What’s the best way we can do this to tell a story and push the narrative of the music?” Even with promo, it’s easy to look at promo as something that you don’t that isn’t fun. It’s just like a separate part of the music, but we try to connect them as much as possible because it makes everything feel a little bit more creative and more exciting. You know what I mean? It’s just another way to tell the story that a song is. I always love that about certain artists, whether it’s like Coldplay or someone else…. I feel like they’ve gone through eras where everything matches sort of like the music they had. The artwork, the outfits that they wore, the color palette that had specific fonts with it. Each album has kind of its own fresh look and feel. I feel like that’s so cool. It’s just a cool way to, again, push the music into this other dimension, you know? Obviously you’re listening to it in a very auditory way, but then when there’s like a physical piece of art that goes with it, – like our album artwork is something that I made physically with epoxy and flowers, stuff like that. Then there is like a less physical piece of art. It was just cool to me that that will also become like a physical vinyl and it all feels more like a little larger than life and a little bit thematic with the kind music we have, as opposed to just maybe like a picture of us or something… which we do plenty of, as well.
You can tell that there’s a lot of thought put into everything you do and it’s always all encompassing. It’s also not just connecting the music to fans, but it’s also connecting you to the music.
Yes, thank you so much.
Now, unfortunately, isn’t a time for touring and live shows, but with that being said, what songs off of night love do you think would be wonderful to fill a room with?
Well I think, I think a lot of them would be fun. I’m looking forward to playing “older,” just because I think that will be an emotional moment. “time online,” too because it’s very upbeat and energetic. I think those two will both be a good time, but truthfully I am kind of looking forward to playing all of them live for the first time.
night, love you. is out NOW on all streaming platforms! Keep up with the band by checking out their Instagram!