In the summer of 2017, I somehow managed to find last minute tickets to go see the one and only John Mayer perform during his The Search for Everything tour when he made a stop in Sacramento. After somehow finding parking in Downtown and rushing to catch our seats before the opener went on, my sister and I had no idea what was to come that night; little did we know that we would stumble upon an act that was familiar to us. The curtains lifted from the stage as the opening band walked out and started performing, with funky guitar riffs and an 80s style pop vibe, we couldn't figure out how we had heard those raspy powerful vocals before. But clearly, this band had the audience entranced. It wasn't until a couple songs had passed that we had realized it was none other than former frontman of Boys Like Girls, the one and only Martin Johnson. Now, who was this new act, this new project Johnson has unleashed, as he casually opened for John Mayer? Say hello to The Night Game, an eclectic and moody solo project Johnson officially released the same year we had seen him perform at an arena filled with thousands of people. Fast forward to 2018, and TNG released his debut album, with 11 songs that will be giving you all the vibes as we transition into fall.
The opening song, The Outfield, was the song that got people talking about TNG in the first place when it was released as a single in early 2017; it was also all John Mayer had to hear in order for him to want Johnson to open for his summer tour. The song has power, as we hit the chorus and get punched in the face with some crazy vocals backed up by Gotye. As we transition throughout the album, we can find a common theme of losing someone you're not quite over just yet. With songs like Do You Think About Us?, The Photograph, and Die a Little, TNG reveals a story about a girl he once knew, someone he loved; and even though he's trying to move on, he still thinks about what she could be doing right now if they were still in each other's lives - and yet, he finds it to be better to just be left alone.
The Night Game is the type of album that has a cinematic feel. The emotion pulled through the vivid poetry and imagery that TNG paints for the audience is something hard to find in the mainstream culture, that "something" being a feeling. A feeling of nostalgia, heartbreak, and the current state of having ourselves to depend on vs someone else. Summerland and Coffee and Cigarettes reflects on a moment in time that plays back in our minds, brings back emotions that we had forgotten about, and the realization that it's all in the past and it's a new world in your today. The intoxicating emotions can bring anyone back to a time where we had someone in our lives that we thought would be there forever. As the album comes to an end with the fun up beat Back in the Van, imagine yourself driving alone, somewhere on the highway, wind blowing through your hair, blasting this album and taking yourself back into that feeling of just being. Yeah, it's that album. And it's fucking good.
You can stream the album on Spotify here and take a listen to the epicness that this piece of art encases for yourself. Oh and by the way...The Night Game is going on tour! You can check out the dates below:
Like what you see? Be sure to follow TNG's journey and find tickets for their tour here, and if you want to get all the latest news on music, interviews, and more, you can subscribe to my newsletter here! Leave a comment below of what you think of the album and what your favorite song is. Until next time!