The opening of “Leaves”—the new single from electronic/alternative project NightNight out today (January 21) on NoCut Entertainment—combines environmental sounds of trains and construction equipment with drums from the Dave Smith Tempest and a vintage Optigan from producer Sylvia Massy’s studio.
Massy—who is known for producing many seminal records from some of alternative’s greatest artists from Prince and TOOL to System of a Down and R.E.M.—loved the demo of the introduction. She specifically wanted more train sounds, and added even more texture throughout the final version. The train theme is transported to the song’s video, also available today, which is captured among the myriad of NightNight’s current hometown of New York City’s subway system.
“Lyrically, there isn’t much metaphor in this song,” says NightNight who is Yasmin Maryam Haddad. “’Leaves’ is straightforwardly about unrequited love. While writing the majority of this album, I was struggling mentally. This is one of the songs that isn’t easy for me to listen to now that I’m in a better place. While there is the glimmer of hope in it, I know that the hope wasn’t real. ‘Leaves’ was written half as a love letter and half as a goodbye to someone who might have never known I existed.”
The video for “Leaves” was produced by Melissa Rodriguez and was shot in the NYC subway guerilla style in a few takes. Adds NightNight, “The concept was around running into a stranger and tossing the idea of ‘what could happen if I talk to this person’ around in your head. Sometimes In real life, like in the video, it isn’t realized - it stays a ‘what if’ forever.”
NightNight—who is Yasmin Maryam Haddad--draws influence from her predecessors such as Massive Attack, Garbage, Depeche Mode and Bat for Lashes using a combination of analog synths, cutting edge technology and live instrumentation. “Leaves” follows Love Decayed’s first offering “Ashes,” co-produced by Chris Harms from Lord of the Lost with video by Frank Coleman, “Love Decayed” and “Maybe It’s Too Late.” The song will appear on her upcoming debut album Love Decayed set for release January 28.