Night Hikes at the Sunset Tavern: A Preview

Author: Riley Urbano

Here in Seattle, a city famous for its music scene and culture, Night Hikes remains one of the best bands I’ve encountered yet. With any luck, 2020 is looking to be a pretty big year for Night Hikes. Just last month they released an excellent LP titled Chalice, and have hustled hard enough since then to see some regional success on tour and even a mention on KEXP. I’ve already caught them live a couple times in bars throughout Seattle, and it makes me no less excited to catch them once again on December 20th at the Sunset Tavern. 

If the video for Chalice single “Belltown” is any indication, Night Hikes play a sort of vintage take on dream pop, drawing more from the goth in the Cocteau Twins discography than more recent takes on the genre by bands like Beach House and DIIV. But it isn’t just the musical influences that set Night Hikes apart from the latter-day dream pop scene: I would say that the group’s lyrics, performed variously by both members, are uniquely narrative and engaging for a genre which frequently allows vocals to blend into backing instrumentation.  And I can’t talk about Chalice without mentioning the mixing, which I think is gorgeous. There’s so much clarity and room in the mix, without sacrificing any Ireverb or other effects so crucial to the dream pop aesthetic. In short, Chalice is a really special record, and seeing the band perform it live is awesome every time.

If you’re 21 or older, you can catch Night Hikes on Friday, December 20th, at the Sunset Tavern. They’ll be playing alongside sets from Talktin and Easy, as well as Peter Michel of Hibou. Bar shows are always cheap, just sayin.

Riley Urbano // night hikes forever // KXSU Music Reporter

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