Photo by: Christopher Radwanski
As a legion of the midnight hour, Night Panther makes their moves when hormones are raging and feet can do nothing but dance. An up-and-coming music group with a flair for sexual attraction, this duo-turned-threesome from Pennsylvania is standing by with a lot of music in the wings, and one sensual pop track rising like body temperatures everywhere. The band describes themselves as a group bound by sex and synths – a band making sex pop music for the masses. Due to such passionate determination, they’re currently boiling hot on everyone’s radar.
“Essentially, it’s music that you can always make love to,” bass player Mike Cammarata tells BTR. “Like Barry White – you know, he’s not really pop but you can still consider him sexy…It just kind of feels sexy, it makes you feel sexy…Right?”
Cammarata, 22, and good friend Farzad Houshiarnejad, 24, began Night Panther years ago, but because both have been mulling around in bands since their teenage years, only now have the two grown instrumentalists found the time and energy to take the group seriously. This year, they aim to kick it to the next level. Together with manager and guitarist, Chris Radwanski, the band has their sights and game set on CMJ in New York this fall, and they’re ready with an LP to be released when the iron gets toasty.
“The record has been done since a year ago, we did it last summer,” Cammarata explains. “We just never had time to pursue it, and give it everything because we were all doing other things, and in other bands up until recently.”
“Some of these songs that are on this record were actually written when [Farzad] was 18,” he adds on the scope of the forthcoming release. “We always liked them a lot. We were just hanging out and wanting to make something of it, but just never had time. I think it was basically a freedom to do whatever we wanted to do a couple months ago that made the time right.”
To date, Night Panther has released a single track titled “Fever,” available via their bandcamp page. It’s a brush of Bee Gees-like glee with the oomph of bebop-style swank. Light a candle, kill the lights, “Fever” is enough to spin with on the dance floor, yet the coupling of synths and funk chords keeps the mood refreshingly relaxed. Like they sing, “all I wanna do is make love to you,” and accordingly, through sweeping jams and racy imagery they stick to their narrative. Their Tumblr page flashes between moving photos of retro fashion to the backside of women’s curves with a little bit of music in between. And their moniker itself stems from the mysterious longing of the day’s end.
Likewise, Night Panther’s music pulls from old and new, promiscuous and intuitive, without a distinct aim to make sense of the amalgamation. Rather, they simply follow the feel of it all.
“[“Fever”] is kind of the most obvious throwback sounding song, you know, ‘cause it sounds kind of like Motown,” Cammarata points out when discussing the direction of their debut. “Not a lot of it is exactly like that…It’s got a nice retro vibe, but it’s not all like that. Throughout the record, there’s more of that nice disco-y feel to it. We were really inspired by that when we were putting it together, kind of just the way that the Latin percussion is always involved, the way they have their baselines.”
Such a tendency does find itself in a unique niche these days, when few bands truly embrace the roots of ‘70s-era dance jams.
Cammarata comments, “It’s interesting because I feel like a lot of bands have that idea behind it, but no one’s trying to push the exact idea of disco. Bands like LCD Soundsystem and The Rapture always have that type of angular sound that has a dance-y disco feel… I think maybe we have a little bit more of that than most people who are inspired by that type of sound.”
Though fans will have to wait a minute before Night Panther unleashes its prowl full-throttle, the band does promise to serve up some delicious confections in the interim, including a cover of Grizzly Bear’s “Two Weeks” in the coming weeks, a 15-minute music video for “Fever,” and a remix track produced by Chris Powell of Man Man.
They will also be playing as many shows as possible to build momentum leading into CMJ.
“Ideally, the goal with CMJ, it would be great to walk away with a label and a booking agent,” says Cammarata, whose ideal label home would be an independent brand like DFA. “We’re playing quite a few shows right now, and we’re playing a lot of parties and stuff like that just to get a push…We want to be touring full time for the record. That’s the goal.”
Night Panther’s release is yet to be titled, but look out for sensations as smooth, sensual and tantalizing as the band proudly exudes on the regular.
“We’re all pretty damn similar, that’s kind of the reason this thing got started and I think you can figure out a lot about our personalities just by looking at our stuff, and the way we portray ourselves,” says Cammarata.
Sex, love and money… and happiness too? For Night Panther, the world looks promisingly so, as who can resist such feel good music, and the lifestyle components that bind it together.