September 21, 2022

My Favorite: Tender Is the Nightshift: Part 1

NY danceable New Wave synth band My Favorite reformed in 2014 and were quick to release a single, Second Empire b/w Dance With a Stranger, and dropped off the radar again shortly after that. But now it looks that they are back for real. Tender Is the Nightshift: Part 1 is the first of three new EPs, with the evening as the main theme. Main songwriter Michael Grace Jr. hasn't lost a bit of his knack for writing about romance and tragedy and the band still sounds quite English, with hints of Soft Cell, Ultravox, and even Spandau Ballet. The late '80s saw a resurgence of plastic soul in the UK and a reappraisal for the saxophone as a lead instrument, something that was not on their Stateside counterparts. Tracks got longer to appease the gently bobbing people on the dance floor. That approach has aged well and for the EP's lead single Dean's 7th Dream they managed to keep the groove going for a little over 8 minutes.

Princess Diana Awaiting Ambulance is the dark horse on this release. This is sadness captured on wax - "There's a light at the end of the tunnel, and it's death". It is a lament for a lonely soul caught in the crosshairs of her predators. Michael Grace Jr. comes close to channeling Bowie on this one, with on point backing vocals and saxophone courtesy of Stephanie Cupo. Reaching for the stars can get you killed and Blues For Planet X - with Roots guitarist Captain Kirk Douglas laying a foundation of choice chords - is both a celebration and a warning for prospective traveller. It doesn't help to try it while on some bad news stimulants either.

As a continuation of their return to form the band ends with two seamless alternate versions of Second Empire. My Favorite seems to be ready to become a cult band again. Fingers crossed it will last.

Tender Is the Nightshift: Part 1 is released digitally and on grey marbled and black vinyl via Happy Happy Birthday to Me records (US) and Where It's At Is Where You Are (UK).

  1. Dean's 7th Dream
  2. Princess Diana Awaiting Ambulance
  3. Blues For Planet X
  4. Second Empire Second Arrangement
  5. Second Empire Dub

» My Favorite on Wikipedia

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