There can be moments in our lives when things begin to coalesce – when personal ideologies, self-identity and the pull of ambition provide direction for those years still ahead of us. For some people, these moments occur easily, without struggle or conflict, but for others, this sense of self-worth and inspiration must be earned, through hard-fought emotional turmoil and personal redefinition. We don’t really know ourselves until we really know ourselves, and this can take time. Queera Nightly knows this better than most.
Raised in a highly religious household, they struggled to understand their identity growing up, often wondering where they fit in. But music always provided an emotional grounding, a way for them to have an outlet for creative impulses that manifested in different ways. Having sung and performed on stage since childhood, Nightly’s journey to understanding themselves had a distinct musical echo.
Eventually settling in Oakland, California, the artist, musician and drag performer signed to OIM Records and is now getting ready to release their debut record The Girl Who Fell next year. The album functions as a sort of tell-all memoir, a chronicling of their fantasies, secrets, and personal tribulations – the events which allowed Queera Nightly to understand the complexities of their self. Filled with torch songs, pop distillations and a layered dose of indie rock tenacity, the collection is a proper introduction to the complicated nature of this mesmerizing artist.
“I’ve worn different masks throughout my life: the devoted follower, the politician, the wayward soul,” they explain. “At times I felt more at ease behind a mask, safe from people’s judgment of who I really was. I thought that that would keep me safe, but it only made me feel more and more alone. I felt confined to a box of who I could be. And once I left that box I never could go back.”
On their new single, the title track to The Girl Who Fell, Nightly explores the details of their own personal journey. Backed by a spry indie-pop beat and jangling guitars, the track is a summer song bound in winter clothes. Often mournful, but never dire, the song allows them the opportunity to reach out to anyone within earshot and offer a compelling narrative of social constraints and personal freedom. A delicate balance between the shadows of their past and the light of their future is developed and nurtured, providing insight and comfort to any who might need it. And given some of the things going on around us, we could all use a little bit of comfort right now.