In “3 on 1,” three music writers for The Overcast share their reactions to a single song off a local album. Today’s track is “Night Rainbows” off the Green & Gold album, The Body Knows. Spoiler: You all voted this as the “Best Song of the Year” for our Best of St. John’s issue, which will be hitting stands this evening and Wednesday morning.
This song is a bit of a musical chameleon. It begins as a brooding solo guitar and vocal piece, then gets a little shot in the arm in verse two, with some swirling organ and tight punches of kick drum and bass. The pre-chorus swells and builds into a triumphant and oddly wordless chorus. Now you might be thinking “What, a chorus with no words? That’s unheard of.” Well it’s not really unheard of (See My Morning Jacket’s “Wordless Chorus” from their 2005 album Z), but it is rare in contemporary music. Nevertheless, Green & Gold’s blatant disregard for popular music convention works in their favour and “Night Rainbows” is somehow a stronger song for it. The chorus leaves you with a feeling rather than a memorable, repetitive line, and we all know that emotions stick with us longer than words.
Listen to “Night Rainbows,” and it’s clear why Green & Gold have been receiving such high praise since the release of their debut album The Body Knows. This song has everything a great indie-pop-rock song needs: beautiful lyrics, gorgeous harmonies, a catchy chorus and Steve Doyle on percussion. “Night Rainbows” is acoustically captivating. It flows, it shifts, it grows leaving the listener moving along with it. I would say that this track is up there on the list of summer anthems but I think that is too restrictive as it is perfect for any season.
For me, “Night Rainbows” is primarily a road song, one of those tunes that just sounds even better in your car while driving down the open road. The opening guitar riff becomes kind of like those yellow lines Len sings of in the first verse, tying the song together as the whole thing builds and shifts gears and gains steam. “Night Rainbows” reaches its peak with the catchy na-na-nas toward the song’s end, and is a tune that will stay in your head long after you’ve reached your destination.