Queen of the Dark Folk Rises: Nighteyes' Impactful Debut Album 'The Way Back Down'
The year 2022 has firmly engraved itself in history, bringing with it the rising star Rachel Trainor, better known as Nighteyes, who introduced her debut single "Lowlight" to the world. This track proved to be a true revelation, magically enveloping listeners, sweeping them into the whirlwind of her music, and at times plunging them into the captivating atmosphere of melancholy and fear. Crafting a dark and hypnotic realm in her music, the virtuoso singer skillfully draws the audience into her somber folk-rock world with hints of electronics. Rachel Trainor, a multi-instrumentalist born in New Zealand and based in Melbourne, continued her journey, acquiring fans of her dark chords and stirring themes. In 2023, two major singles were released, "In The Wake" and "Plenty," setting a somber tone for her debut album, lightly lifting the veil of mystery. And on November 10th, the debut album "The Way Back Down" was released on all streaming platforms, forever cementing Rachel Trainor's title as the queen of dark folk-rock.
The emotional spectrum of "The Way Back Down" spans the entire range of human experiences — from the dark nuances of dark-indie rock in tracks like "Down By The Sea" and "Lowlight," where a misty sense of gentle unease takes center stage, to the bright electronic surges embodied in "Hollow Tree." Every note in this album is infused with deep meaning, creating a dramatic and powerful panorama of human emotions and feelings. I particularly enjoy when listening to an album gives the impression of reading a book, and "The Way Back Down" becomes an immersion into a unique world of sensations and emotions, where each track is like a new chapter inviting reflection.
The album cover, featuring a dark forest, serves as a visual prelude to loneliness and internal struggle. The black-and-white imagery and color palette of the album precisely convey the mood of the work, infusing it with a subtle melancholy typical of indie rock. Nighteyes pours her soul into every note, creating something absolutely new and unique. The song lyrics skillfully captivate, harmonizing with the music. In the album, you can trace the changes in emotions, tonalities, and sound. The first part is quite dark, with minor chords and gripping tonalities, which transition to a bright, light, and more airy sound without experimental instrument overloads in the final tracks. This journey reflects the album's concept. According to Rachel, "'The Way Back Down' is a deeply personal story that guides the listener through a journey from darkness to light." And indeed, Nighteyes has created a truly conceptual album.
In each track, Rachel imbues a special meaning, guiding the listener through the world of her own emotions. For instance, the first track tells the story of two lovers on the brink of parting, who still continue to fight and cling to the shards of shattered memories. Meanwhile, the two main singles released in support of the album, "In The Wake" and "Plenty," serve as the singer's outcry about the helplessness in the face of ecological catastrophes that threaten to plunge the world into darkness.
The two final songs, "Third Eye" and "Spiral," serve as embodiments of the diversity of this album. The penultimate song, "Third Eye," light and melancholic, embodies acoustic aesthetics with flawless backing vocals. This track invites reflection on the dialogue between generations and prepares the listener for an unexpected conclusion. The album concludes with the track "Spiral" – melancholic, misty, yet simultaneously hopeful, bright, and sensual. The shift in mood and the emergence from the dark forest of emotions express the musician's desire to move forward, breaking established stereotypes and unveiling new musical structures and concepts.
In her album, Nighteyes elevates the art of music to a new level. Her ability to blend different genres, creating emotional surges from dark to light, makes this album an indispensable work of art. "The Way Back Down" is a story about the world, about the future and the past, about each one of us. In the dense mist of the night, Nighteyes's album emerges as a mysterious entity, erasing boundaries and leaving an indelible mark on musical history. Like an eternal enchantress, mistress of elusive arts, Nighteyes weaves spells from sounds, like the dark messengers of the night, offers its musical potion, and whoever dares to partake is destined to immerse themselves in an indescribable world where reality intertwines with fantasy, like shadows on the dark wall of time.