The Night Cafe – ‘0151’ | Album Review

The Night Cafe delivers on long-awaited Debut Album

The Night Cafè have an impressive ability to put you under a soothing spell with their music. Their debut album 0151 (a reference to the city they are from) is the ultimate stress reliever, and guarantees a calm, chilled vibe. This quartet from Liverpool have been releasing music for the past four years, and so their debut album has been highly anticipated by many indie pop fans.

Released on 23rd August, 0151 captures the slow fuzzy feelings of summer perfectly. It’s made up of eighteen well produced and catchy tunes, with previous releases making a welcoming return. The hazy guitar features on each track giving them their own signature sound. Interestingly, this guitar always sounds separate to the rest of the instruments, possibly reflecting the isolation due to heartbreak this band face throughout the album.

Eight out of the eighteen songs are pre-released success stories that made many people fall in love with them in the first place; a fact that’s ironic due to many of their songs being written as a result of heartbreak. It’s nice to hear ‘Turn’s loud energy levels and ‘Mixed Signals’ apologetic lyrics amongst some familiar sounds. ‘Addicted’ is a fellow TNC classic with infectious riffs which will transport you to driving in a car with the roof down on a windy day. The groovy bass line is perfectly complemented by a raw drum beat free from excessive fillers. The whole track is seamlessly put together with no stitches to show for it, and the lyrics are some of my favourites. Lead singer Sean Martin brings the romantic track together with the repetition of ‘I’m addicted to you’ sung softly, as a unique declaration of love. The acknowledgment of being ‘addicted’ is intriguing, as it demonstrates that even though he knows it is bad for him he continues to return. That said, it doesn’t stop us from rooting him on anyway.

However, the majority of this album is made up of brand new songs to get excited about – some even venture out of the classic love themes. One of the new tracks ‘A Message to Myself’ has a powerful message about mental health issues, as the lyrics include many repeats of ‘Take care, am I losing again?’. Their classic hazy guitar effect is swapped out for a sharp acoustic, which is not an accident. Perhaps it’s to give the idea that, when your mental health goes down hill things change, including your perspective. The whole sentiment is a beautiful one, and Martin’s vocals appear to have a small echo effect, maybe to reflect the amount of thoughts in his head. Or maybe not. Whatever TNC tried to convey with this song, it’s slow tempo blues is guaranteed to connect with many people.

‘Strange Clothes’ is a fun and upbeat track which, in true TNC style, makes use of it’s indie pop guitar effects. Carl Dillon kicks the track off with his vibrant drum beats, swiftly joined by guitarist Josh Higgins and bassist Arran O’Connell. The track is vowed to make you want to get up and dance alongside four guys who are clearly having a blast. The lyrics, however, have a more nonchalant theme. A song based about noticing differences in friends, Martin sings ‘I hope you’ve noticed the strange clothes you’re wearing’. It’s a tribute to all those who secretly cry for help through hints rather than words, and brings up the idea that it’s okay to ask for help if you need it.

These four guys from Liverpool impressively tackle a range of difficult topics, including old relationships, depression and anxiety under the mist of a psychedelic guitar and dream-like drums. 

The Night Cafè bring contagious riffs to disheartening lyrics, making the negatives that little bit better.

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