OCTOBER 24, 2022 (San Rafael, CA) — “I just wanted to close my eyes and float away, and that’s what the song was about,” says Nyles Lannon of Northern California-based alt-rock band NYTE SKYE regarding their debut single/video for “Dream State (I’m Vanishing).” “This song was probably one of the fastest songs (lyrically) I’ve written. It was true escapism – wishing I could ignore the physical world completely. We were working on this during the early part of the pandemic, during lockdown, and things were kinda bleak: there was no vaccine yet, the numbers were climbing, and I was dealing with pretty nasty back pain from a herniated disc.”
Building on the synergistic family dynamic of vocalist/guitarist Nyles (who hails from the celebrated shoegaze band Film School) and his son Skye (who recorded this album when he was only 12 years old) on drums, Nyte Skye was formed of equal parts frustration from quarantined sheltering that Covid brought and boundless creativity that arose from having nowhere to go and nothing to do.
“The pandemic somewhat inspired it,” adds Skye about how the lockdowns sourced their songwriting. ”It encouraged it in the sense that we didn’t have other things to do. It was easier than usual to work on music because of all the free time.”
“We also had a lot of time, more than we had ever had, and probably ever will again,” says Nyles reflectively. “I think for a musical father and son, it was a golden opportunity. We knew we had this cool moment and we took advantage of it. We also both knew it wouldn’t last forever, so we stayed pretty focused on the goal.”
While its origin was based on the ennui of the time, the music is anything but. The atmospheric and shimmery “Dream State (I’m Vanishing)” hovers in a musical expanse that allows each instrument to float dreamily in pure escapism. Appropriately, its hypnotic video posits the band in outer space, with visual layers of the instruments kaleidoscopically fading in and out of twinkling stars, asteroids and astronauts. “We were all tossing around ideas of a more ‘serious’ video with actual spacesuits and performance and fancy lights and props, but it was sounding like too much work,” explains Nyles. Instead, they collected stock outer space footage with original filmed sequences shot in their home (“mostly in the bathroom – the darkest room – with a flashlight and a phone”). “Some stuff we couldn’t use because you could see the toilet in the background,” he laughs.
With the emotional toll of lockdown getting farther and farther away in the rearview mirror, the creative nucleus of Nyte Skye continues to explore the textured foundation that Nyles’ Film School has built and expand on it, incorporating elements of other bands that they love, such as The Cure, Spiritualized, Elliott Smith, and The Police (one of Skye’s main influences is Stewart Copeland). “I am so grateful for this connection we have,” beams Nyles. “Do we drive each other crazy sometimes? Of course. He always needs to have food when we play, for instance, otherwise, everything becomes about food. Sometimes I have to remind myself that he is still a kid in some ways and hasn’t been playing in bands for 30 years like me. Yet, when he plays, he is just a damn good drummer.”
Ultimately, not only did working on music help the duo cope with a uniquely challenging situation, but just being stuck at home helped stoke their creativity. “Music was the only thing I did during the pandemic, besides online school,” Skye says. “It gave us all this time we didn’t have before to make the album.” For Nyles—knowing they might never have that kind of time again—to be able to put out a record with his son is, simply, “a dream come true.”
Nyte Skye is Nyles Lannon (vocals, guitars) and Skye Lannon (drums) with additional contributions from Zach Rogue (Rogue Wave), Nichole Kreglow (backup vocals), lyricist Neil Rodenmeyer (Lupa Rosa), and Ian McDonald (FUTRVST). “Dream State (I’m Vanishing)” was written, recorded, and produced by Nyles Lannon and Skye Lannon and mixed by Dan Long (Local Natives, Film School, Kevin Devine).
More music and information about Nyte Skye’s upcoming debut album on independent label Sonic Ritual (Queen Kwong, Imaad Wasif, Gypsum) to be announced shortly.