by the partae



Late Nights is the latest offering from Melbourne indie pop artist, Jake Stone. It is the first of many collaborations with prolific co-writer/producer Josh King.

Reflecting on Late Nights, Jake shares: “A big element of the song is this need for victory after a breakup; someone who comes out better off and seems to move on too quickly.”

Is it even possible to ‘win’ a breakup? When relationships end and people get hurt, there can be no winner. And continuing to hang out with mutual friends, post-breakup, tends to stall emotional progress by keeping your ex front of mind as well.

Opening with a plaintive, meandering guitar line, Late Nights finds our protagonist stuck in a heartbreak spiral while his partner has already moved on: “Still thinking ‘bout the way that you let it endStill thinking ‘bout the way you said we’re better as friends/ But right now it doesn’t feel like it…”

Insistent drumbeats add dramatic impact to the song, before its stripped-back pre-chorus, featuring taunting layered vocals, plays the blame game: “And I remember the way that you framed itYou as the victim, when we both know it’s blameless…”

Then enter Late Nights’ soaring chorus, delivered as though summoning up all remaining willpower to release the heartache: “Did you really mean what you told our friends?‘Cause I really never thought that I’d be the bad guy…”

Nearing the song’s conclusion, driving beats underscore a crucial narrative shift heading into the bridge: “This is the last timeThinking about all the late nightsWondering why your heart broke mine…” With power finally reclaimed, Late Nights concludes how it began: paring right back to that winsome, pensive introductory guitar line.

Although this song’s lyrics were mostly completed within 30 minutes – using Heartbreak Anniversary by Giveon and Falling Asleep At The Wheel by Holly Humberstone as reference points – Jake describes the overall signwriting process as “bizarre”. After transposing some piano chords onto the guitar, Jake and his co-writer/producer then pitched the melody up a couple of octaves and viola! Late Nights finally crystallised after a few days spent toiling away in the studio.

But it was the mixing and mastering process that really brought Late Nights to life. Blake Malone, a Gold Coast-based producer best known for his collaborations with Amy Shark, worked his mixing magic and Jake remembers, “It was amazing. He heard something different in the song, which totally transformed it.” Then once world-renowned mastering engineer Leon Zervos (P!nk, Rihanna, Beastie Boys) added final touches to Late Nights, Jake extols, “ This is perfect! This is what we want. This is the best song we’ve ever written together!’”

Late Nights is out now across all streaming platforms.

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