Night Argent have every right to be feeling extreme confidence in themselves. After winning their way onto the 2015 Vans Warped Tour by conquering the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands, the Washington outfit penned a recording deal with John Feldmann (Blink 182, Panic! at the Disco). Their debut self-titled EP dropped a year later, and the group’s DIY alternative pop-rock aesthetic attracted droves of fans. But on the latest single from their forthcoming The Fear EP, the band is feeling anything but self-assured.
In fact, “Mannequin” finds lead singer/songwriter Chase Manhattan lacking any sense of fulfillment. The track’s lyrics capture him lamenting the loss of a lover and the emptiness left in their wake. “I’m just a mannequin you left inside these clothes,” he wails on the chorus. “Awake inside, paralyzed.” As he screams out for some sort of recourse, his cries are echoed in the screeching guitars and the crushing march of booming percussion. Underneath the bombardment of noise, however, is a feeling of stark loneliness to which only the recently heartbroken can relate.
Explaining the genesis of the song to Consequence of Sound, Manhattan said,
“‘Mannequin’ is currently our favorite track on this record. The production, and the big power ballad vibe, feels a little reminiscent of our song ‘Kamikaze’ to us, which was the track off of our debut EP that was our favorite to play live. The initial lyrics and concept for ‘Mannequin’ came to me while showering in the hotel room prior to an all day co-writing session we had in Los Angeles. I just kept thinking about the similarities between someone who feels like they’ve lost everything of importance to them, everything that made them who they are, and a mannequin. When someone or something has taken and left with such a big part of you, you no longer feel like yourself, you feel like an empty shell, who’s only purpose left in life is to be a filler for your clothes. Honestly, I wasn’t sure how the idea would play, and I expected it to get shot down when I pitched it to the group, so when they took it and ran with it, helping mold it into what is now the first track off of The Fear, I was stoked.”
The track comes via its self-produced video, which you can watch above. The clip finds Manhattan afloat in a pool of mist, reflecting the song’s theme of dark, weightless wandering. Check it out above, or listen via the embed below.
Once again co-written and produced by Feldmann, The Fear is out July 14th through Outerloop Records.