Some bands completely implode. Whether it be via self-sabotage or social media hissy fits, like everything, the break-up is real. Others decide to hit pause, drifting in and out of activity as the years roll on.
Good Night & Good Morning did neither.
Starting in the mid noughties in Champaign-Urbana, Ryan Brewer and Pat Elifritz operated as a two-piece, releasing their self-titled EP in 2009. Enlisting Milwaukee native, Sahan Jaysuriya, on drums in 2012, Good Night & Good Morning released their only album.
Narrowing Type isn’t so much a building block but a ridiculously assured piece of work. So good, it’s hard to see any other band in this situation bettering it. Indeed, Good Night & Good Morning didn’t implode. It’s questionable whether any self-sabotage was involved in their ending, either. If anything, it’s the perfect case of a band disappearing into bleak obscurity.
Upon research (we could be wrong, of course), it appears that Brewer, Elifitz or Jaysuriya, haven’t gone on to form any new projects since. Forget social media. This is a band forever off-grid and it’s refreshing to see. Their persona as warped and vague as the music they produced.
In a series of rippling soundscapes that are an ode to the aloof and introverted, Narrowing Type leaves an indelible mark on the true heads and crate-diggers alike.
From the beginning, the shadows reach far and wide. With a lo-fi tape hiss that crackles over pianos and scattered voices, Narrowing Type starts with Jill. A static wave of sound that gently rolls and merges into second track, Philadelphia.
Combining slowcore with early origins of emo through the hinterlands of post-rock, the result is Goodnight & Good Morning sounding completely different to anything previously born from these styles.
With equally gloomy lyrics (“By the time I bring you over again/ You’re someone else – Median II) and cascading reverb the likes of Zelienople have mastered through the last three decades, Good Night & Good Morning were a concern for the later hours. Soundscapes that stuck to the shadows. Key Studies is series of broken dreams scattered throughout the mind. With chiming guitars and keyboards, it’s ethereal and earnest.
Median I plunges into the abyss of post-rock. With unhurried crescendos, here it’s like Godspeed You! Black Emperor collaborating with Tim Hecker in some faraway orbit. It poses as the precursor for Median II. Together, these two tracks form the centrepiece to Narrowing Type.
Median II feels like the end-time ballad Codeine never wrote. With rhythms that simmer and stir, the repetitious groove reaches a similar fever pitch of ’90s-era Low with a thrumming drone that holds significant weight.
Japanese Thread follows. A meandering instrumental, the song contains a drone so far down in the mix, it actually sounds like it was conceived outside the studio walls. Whether intentional or not, it emits a narcotic effect.
Which feeds into Abroad & Neutral. The closing encounter and another instrumental piece, showcasing the cinematic side to Good Night & Good Morning. It’s music for films; the backdrop in this instance being a sleepy, seaside town. You can almost picture a yellow strip from the lighthouse slowly canvassing across the ocean. That radiant cast from a stable vantage point. Armed with surreal atmospheres, it feels quite fitting that it was the last piece of music the band put to tape.
As standalone pieces, the instrumental aspects to Narrowing Type wouldn’t hold their weight without Median I and II and vice versa. In many ways, that’s why it feels like a true record. Although abstract, there’s not a moment wasted.
It’s a record that will draw together many listeners from different backgrounds and experiences. Post-rock, slowcore, post-hardcore, experimental et al.
Although Narrowing Type was the only Good Night & Good Morning LP, the band covered as much ground as anybody in such a short space of time. Their existence so fleeting, that in an age where there’s so much music being produced, whereby a lot of it is lost in the ether, there’s still a counter argument that the good stuff will always shine through.
With Narrowing Type, Good Night & Good Morning prove this to be the case.
Narrowing Type was released on Own Records. Purchase from Bandcamp.