Six years after the release of their last album, Pelican enlisted the help of Matt Bayles to mix their newest album, Nighttime Stories, which “grapples directly with loss and grief, channeling dueling guitars and pummeling rhythms into a dire haunted sound” (Pitchfork 7.6).
The creation of Nighttime Stories was a time of transition for Pelican aftersongwriter, guitarist and founding member, Laurent Schroeder-Lebec, left the band in 2012. With creating Nighttime Stories, the remaining members had to learn to write songs all over again and adjust to working with a new guitarist, Dallas Thomas.
“We needed to figure out what this iteration of the band was before we knew how to move it forward, and the chemistry of this particular lineup came together just touring and playing live,” said guitarist, Trevor Shelley Brauw. While working on the new album, Pelican learned how to play live together and carved out days to produce new material, as the four members are split between Chicago and Los Angeles. This dedication and the “perfectionist nature and varied influences of the band’s members” meant the songs of Nighttime Stories were just “as influenced by doom metal as they [were] the Dischord Records catalog” (Stereogum). Pelican is still redefining its sound after 20 years together.
According to NPR, Nighttime Stories is Pelican’s “most vulnerable yet overwhelming work to date,” reflecting the ups and downs since their last release, and with Matt Bayles’s stellar mixing skills, it is an album not to be missed. Bayles has also mixed records by Botch, Mastadon, Isis, KENmode, Murder City Devils, and many more.
Don’t forget to listen to Nighttime Stories, available on all streaming platforms now.