Ottawa native Shermer Cuba Paul, AKA Night Lovell released his latest project ‘Just Say You Don’t Care’ this month. The 14-track album consists of the gloomy, dark sound his fans have become accustom to since his debut album ‘Concept Vague’ back in 2014. The self-contained artist started teasing new music back in March. Dropping two singles prior. ‘Counting Down the List’ & ‘Bottom Top’. Both were welcomed by his cult following, leaving fans eager to hear what else Lovell had been cooking.
‘Bottom Top’ showed a side we had never seen before from the Canadian rapper. Routinely rapping over slow, spacey beats. However, this song brings nothing but energy. The song wouldn’t feel out of place as the soundtrack of a police chase through the middle of London at 3am, a much-increased tempo in comparison to Lovell’s more conventional, slower style.
‘Just Say You Don’t Care’ is Lovell’s latest album since his release of ‘GOODNIGHT LOVELL’ in 2019. It is also his first release since joining GREY FIVE NINE Records in February of this year, the same label as $UICIDEBOY$, with fans of both hoping for another collaboration in the not-too-distant future after their song ‘Joan of Arc’ which featured on ‘GOODNIGHT LOVELL’.
Listening to the album multiple times since the release, Lovell hit the nail on the head with his beat selection as he always seems to do. Incredibly menacing, eerie beats to match his monotone voice which complement his lyrics throughout the whole project. Notably the song ‘Puppet’ which sounds like it was crafted by the devil himself. Grimy synthesisers layered with a thick bass line, intertwined with hard hitting drums creating an almost ominous feeling.
Lovell seemed to reel in any sort of mainstream influence for this body of work, it’s just so gritty. His 2016 album ‘Red Teenage Melody’ was perhaps the most we’ve heard him dive into a more widespread sound with songs like ‘Contraband’ & ‘Barbie Doll’. Showing he can be flexible with his music, but it was clear the vision he had with this latest album, similar to the 2019 ‘GOODNIGHT LOVELL’…gloomy darkness.
The rapper has mentioned on numerous occasions his reasoning behind the style of music he produces. In an interview with Gaffer, Lovell said ‘’Canada is just a dark place in general. Especially in the winter, that’s what I tell everyone. I feel like that alone influenced my music because its darker than everywhere else. That kind of shaped what my music became just by growing up in it’’. He also revealed the reasoning for having Night in his name, is because he only works on music during the night time.
I think it would be fair to say that Lovell’s overall sound hasn’t gravitated to far from his 2014 debut album ‘Concept Vague’, which included his most popular song ‘Dark Light’ (This plays a large part of the reason that he has such a loyal fanbase as he never acts or pretends to be something he’s not.) A song that still to this day continues to grow in popularity. In an interview with No Jumper, Lovell said this was only the second song he had ever released, filming the music video on his iPhone with a bunch of his friends, the video now sits at 49 million views on YouTube.
A stand out track on the album is ‘I Know Your Ways’. Including a more light hearted instrumental, with a gorgeous piano melody. Lovell speaks on his struggles with life in general, calling his existence an illusion. Similarly, the track ‘Sadly I Cannot Control’ yet again lets us into the deeper side of Lovell’s mind, rapping on falling out of love.
A notable absence on the album is the features, not a single one on all 14 tracks. Perhaps Lovell wanted to keep this album completely solo? With collaborations on previous albums with artists such as Lil Gnar, Nessly just to name a few. It was definitely a surprise not to see any more names on the track list.
However, Night Lovell came through yet again. Keeping deep to his roots and his original sound that his fans know and appreciate. From start to finish the album feels grimy, as if every track is fused together to make a hazy movie score. Lovell stays a mysterious figure on the internet so it could be a long while before we hear from him again.
You can listen to ‘Just Say You Don’t Care’ below.