The nocturnal motif on Jenny Owen Youngs’ new EP Night Shift runs deeper than its title—the five tracks on the songwriter’s first release since 2015’s Slack Tide EP are folk-pop songs for dark nights of the soul. In spite of the reverent folk and radio-friendly pop of her early releases—and the punning opening track title—these songs carry the graveyard-folk qualities of Azure Ray, even on the rousing mid-point, “Dreaming on the Bus.”
This is intentional, as the title will have you believe: “The songs on Night Shift are all nocturnal, rooted in dreams and nighttime memories,” Youngs explains, before sharing a list of songs she believes offer similar vibes. From a Radiohead staple to contemporary hits by Kacey, billie, and her peer Chris Farren, all fourteen tracks seem to soundtrack a night of rethinking things while everyone else is sleeping.
“I curated this playlist to match the state of mind of the EP,” she continues. “It’s a collection of recordings that pair well with a backroad illuminated by headlights while you drive around without a specific destination in mind, songs that line up with the neon glow from bar windows when you’re walking home from the subway at two in the morning. Songs with something to hide, and the darkness to hide it in.”
Night Shift is out this Friday, November 15. You can pre-order it here.