Capturing the Ethereal: Night Tapes Discuss Their New EP

Night Tapes by Marii Kiisk

Capping off a string of hit singles, the DIY dream pop trio Night Tapes unveiled their new EP, assisted memories, on Nettwerk Music Group. We caught up with Max, Sam, and Iiris to discuss their latest release and upcoming tour.

After a dynamic 2023, highlighted by the release of their third EP Perfect Kindness last summer and a tour of the UK and Europe, Night Tapes continues to gain momentum. Their live shows spanned cities like Vienna, London, Bristol, Brighton, Manchester, Copenhagen, Paris, and Tallinn. They’ve recently announced new UK tour dates for this September and revealed that their debut US tour will follow in November, thanks to a booking deal with UTA.

2024 promises to be a significant year for the trio, with their Spotify following growing by over 50% to nearly 30k, almost three million streams for their late 2023 single “drifting,” and support from BBC Radio 1. Their monthly listeners have peaked at over half a million, with 1.7 million streams.

assisted memories marks their fourth EP, following Dream Forever In Glorious Stereo, Download Spirit, and Perfect Kindness. Their debut single “Forever” has amassed over eight million plays, and their music has been championed by outlets such as Turtlenek, Paste Magazine, Pigeons & Planes, DUMMY Magazine, At The Barrier, David Dean Burkhart, and Majestic Casual channels.

Join us as we delve into the otherworldly sounds of Night Tapes and discover what lies ahead for the ever-evolving South Londoners.

KALTBLUT: Congratulations on your new EP, assisted memories. Can you tell us about the concept behind the EP and what inspired its creation?

Thank you! I am now like the 6th version of myself, assisted memories contain little glimpses into the past versions of myself. Lyrically with this EP I’m trying to honor and be kind to different past versions of myself. Especially to the young girl who moved to London from Tallinn, Estonia to pursue music. She got lost along the way, London definitely ate her up at one point and things worked out eventually all though very differently to what I had imagined before I came here. But it’s all good, I got to find really good friends and bandmates who are as ambitious as I am. London definitely is good for finding ambitious, passionate people. 

We didn’t have a concept going into the recording of this EP, but as the songs came together, the theme presented itself.. I feel that it’s better to explore the unknown and chaos rather than to go in with a fixed mindset when starting a new project. I love to be surprised and I trust that the understanding/lyrics  will make sense eventually.  To be honest the actual understanding of the EP came to me when we had a listening party for it at Pitchblack Playback sessions. I suddenly had a revelation that I had  had some things I mourned and with this EP, I am releasing and starting again

This quote really resonated with me in the context of this EP:

“Within the catastrophe, in midst of depression and confusion, the new symbol of the self was born” – M.Louise von Franz

KALTBLUT: Can you walk us through the sonic journey of the EP and how each track contributes to the overall narrative?

There is definitely a more direct and light yang feel to these songs (maybe except assisted memories and waterfall). There is a cycle that presents itself and is loopable. but some sort of a narrative only became apparent once all the songs were together. The tracklist and the flow of one song to another was very important to us..

To be honest, we would love it if people did their own interpretations of the sonic journey and the narrative. 

KALTBLUT: Your music is described as capturing artifacts of time on analogue and digital recordings. Can you explain how you achieve this unique sound and what equipment or techniques you use?

We’re always on a hunt for interesting sounds. There is a really prevalent sound of Max’s grilling salmon on the barbecue in the rain. It runs through most songs on the EP. We use different dictaphones, tape machines and tape emulators. We also just try to record things with a wide range of microphones and amps, we won’t shy away from phone mics and karaoke amps. 

KALTBLUT: Iiris, you’ve mentioned that “projections” is about themes of perception and authenticity. Can you elaborate on the lyrical inspiration behind this track and its significance in the context of the EP?

With “Projections” the understanding was that a lot of what I seeked in others in terms of personal relationships, I was seeking in myself.  Haha, I guess everyone eventually arrives to the point where they’re like: “it seems that it’s not all them, it’s kind of me, lol”. But it’s difficult to navigate reality and other people when you’re just living in your head. Most people (myself included most of the time) have so much going on inside that it’s difficult to really take in other people in and see/hear who they are.

KALTBLUT: The track “waterfall” is described as reverb-soaked and psalm-like. What emotions or experiences were you trying to convey with this song?

Max: this song was written as a lot of relationships were ending and I was full of that feeling of standing at the edge of the abyss- the combination of fear of the unknown, of all of the possibilities of a new beginning and how exciting that felt. You really feel the world in those moments of vulnerability.        

KALTBLUT: You had a busy 2023 with the release of Perfect Kindness and a tour across the UK and Europe. How do your live performances influence your music and vice versa?

The songs definitely live on and change even after they’re recorded. I guess you capture a moment in time with songs and if it’s a good song then it can send you through different stages in life, gathering different meanings. We’re finding it with “Truly being alive” how it has ascended from something angsty to something euphoric live . Otherwise we do try to have the live sound just like the record, but better. That would be our aim.

KALTBLUT: You recently announced new UK dates for September and your debut US tour in November. What can fans expect from your live shows?

We are so excited for the tours!! We’ve definitely gotten more confident than we were last year and we’ve got plans already in place  to make the shows something that shouldn’t be missed. Getting plans for lights and concepts together already and excited to elevate everything.

KALTBLUT: Night Tapes started out as evening jams between housemates. How has your dynamic as a trio evolved over the years, and how does it influence your creative process?

We don’t live all together anymore, which does mean we have to plan a little bit more. We have become more efficient and productive and I think you can kind of hear it in the sound. but we’re planning to take some time to be able to be a bit more chaotic for the album (which we’re already in the process of making). 

KALTBLUT: How do you balance reflecting on past experiences and pushing forward with new sounds and ideas in your music?

I’m just a lil cancerian girlie, the past is my playground. but I guess in terms of lyrics, writing songs is a  lifestyle. I’m always writing. . In terms of sounds, sometimes you just have to go on an exploration and a journey to find new flavors. Also, no art is made in a vacuum. We’re always trying to listen to music we haven’t heard before and be open. And with the stuff you really love, one has to be careful not to overly rinse them.

KALTBLUT: With assisted memories set to release, what are your plans for the future? Are there any upcoming projects or collaborations that you are excited about?

Uuh! So many cool things are happening! We shot a live video on top of a rooftop that is coming out soon on Volt live sessions. We will be warming up for the awesomeness that is Leisure in London and then we’re going to fully focus on the album. we’ve done a couple of collaborations we’re excited about, don’t really know when they are coming out yet,

KALTBLUT: How do you engage with your fans and build anticipation for your releases?

It’s nice to have peeps that are on the same wavelength as us, we have a lot of artists in our community. All and all the aim is just to get a good vibe going in our growing group of peeps and have elevated moments of music together. If you’re asking about the social media thing, I’m trying to view it as album liner notes used to be. It’s just one big booklet documenting our journey. 

KALTBLUT: How important is the connection with your audience in your music, and how do you ensure that your projects resonate with them?

I don’t know how people ensure those things. Trying to be honest I guess and just sharing what we love. It has taken a long time to be able to make the music we really like. We’re really happy with everything we’ve put out and that is the vibe we’re hoping to continue.

KALTBLUT: What message or feeling do you hope listeners take away from assisted memories?

I hope that it will bring feelings of acceptance and a sense that whatever it is,  things will get better. I hope that people can use these songs to hold space in what is happening in their own lives. 


assisted memories is out now: