“Shame Festers In The Dark” The Regrettes’ Lydia Night Opens Up

An intimate back-and-forth with the singer...

Bursting onto the scene in 2015, The Regrettes have been reflecting and learning ways to live in the moment. Over Zoom, with her phone in hand and eggs finally secured, frontwoman Lydia Night can often be caught flickering between jokes and being in deep thought.

Having reimagined their creative voices during lockdown, Night takes us behind their newly explored pop influences on ‘Further Joy’ and how creating the record was a form of therapy.

– – –

– – –

“I feel like I went through every single emotion with this album,” she notes wryly. “I felt a lot of relief when writing the lyrics but at the same time, it was really intense,” she adds. “I had days where I didn’t realise how intense it was until I was speaking to my boyfriend about the sessions. I didn’t realise how vulnerable I was being and had to make sure to check in with myself mentally. In a way, I was reliving harsh experiences and had to decide what I was okay with sharing and what felt important to share.”

“I found something really freeing in opening up so much and being vulnerable on this record. I felt like in the past, I was always writing from a vulnerable place and this time around I realised I was doing it with a bit of a wall up,” begins Night. “The lyrics come from many things that I was scared to share at first but now, it feels really good to let it all out. It feels good to talk about it and, because of the people who have connected to it, I feel better about those experiences,” she continues. “A friend said to me that shame festers in the dark and that’s how I feel about this album. The fact I can now speak about these things openly, I don’t feel shame about them anymore.”

– – –

– – –

The joyous self-aware soundtrack sports a shinier sound and despite being so brutal lyrically, Night seems remarkably at ease. “We wanted ‘Anxieties (Out of Time)’ to feel like you were running away from an anxious spiral,” she states. “Our producer was incredibly respectful of what the songs are about and wanted them to serve their purpose without showing off any crazy, cool production techniques. He wanted them to sonically meet up with what the lyrics were stating and the experiences they were trying to portray.”

“I found a quote through TikTik. It came up on my homepage and it’s what you hear at the start of ‘Nowhere’,” says Night. “I was going through such a hard time and resonated with that part of the quote the minute I heard it. When writing the song, I knew I had to include it. I listen to it when I feel helpless and it picks me up whenever I feel down. It’s by the philosopher Alan Watts by the way!”

Originally known for their string of gritty guitar-driven albums, Night expands on the neon-tinged 80s inspired lights of their fresh sound and that confidence to not care is something learned. “There were choices made during the creative process where we knew we didn’t want to shy away from anything,” she notes. “We didn’t want to completely rule anything out before we had tried it and wanted to push ourselves,” she elaborates. “We were letting go of a lot of rules and actively deciding to not shy away from things we would’ve once shied away from yet the sound shift was natural due to what we were writing. For me, I wanted to write and follow whatever naturally came to mind in the beginning and then we decided to push it and challenge ourselves later on in the process.”

“I think the strangest part of it was that we’ve seen lots of people be shocked by the new direction we’ve taken in terms of our sound. I assumed people would think we were doing what our label wants or becoming sell-outs because that’s what a lot of people usually say when artists switch up their sound,” she says. “People constantly make up assumptions and they were the ones I thought they’d come up with for this record but I didn’t really give a shit,” she declares. “This is something that we’ve wanted to do for a while and we’re so proud of it. Because of how different it sounds compared to our old stuff, I wasn’t expecting such a positive response.”

– – –

– – –

Able to decompress, Night realised the negativity she was feeling was inevitable and touches on living with anxiety and imposter syndrome whilst still learning to control and understand it. “I think feeling pressure is inevitable but I don’t think it’s any different to the pressure I feel in my daily life to be a better person,” she shares. “I put a lot of pressure on myself in general so industry pressure coincides with that. It already exists within who I am. Industry-wise though, I do feel a lot of imposter syndrome and self-doubt.”

“I think the stronger I get in terms of being confident and trusting myself is the only way to not care about it,” she adds. “Pressure is pressure regardless of where it comes from but I’m in a really good place right now. I know I deserve to be where I am and that I’m a good person. I also don’t take criticism as much as I would have in the past and all of those things combined help me feel happier about my life.”

Losing herself in the project, the results are outstanding. Not only has ‘Further Joy’ allowed The Regrettes to push themselves creatively, but it has allowed them to live in the moment and be happier within themselves. “I feel happier than I’ve been in a long time,” Night observes. “I’m really grateful that I’ve been able to be present with what we’ve been doing as a band and also in my own day-to-day life.”

“A lot of my happiness stems from the album and doing things to coincide with it,” she points out. “I wrote most of it from a place where I wasn’t able to internalise love and be in the present because I was dealing with so much depression and anxiety that I wasn’t myself for a while. I’m finally able to accept all the beautiful things happening around me and can happily say that I love myself. Wow. It felt really good saying that,” she beams. “Thank you so much for that. It was really nice to be asked how I am. Everything you’ve asked actually has been great. I’ve really appreciated this chat.”

– – –

– – –

'Further Joy' is out now.

Words: Shannon Garner
Photography: Lissyelle Laricchia

– – –

Follow Clash

Buy Clash Magazine