Goodnite Robicheaux is the collaboration of long time friends Justin MacDonald (multi-instrumentalist) and Jamison Mode (vocalist). They say the name is a “story of two characters. Goodnite enjoys the finer things in life but isn’t above a bologna sandwich, while Robicheaux would rather play video games than sleep. Having shared interest in music, movies and video games, a band just made sense to them”. Together, they offer different viewpoints from a life that creates a balance within their music.
2018 saw the release of their album Harding Place. It showcased how their various musical influences have impacted their work. With a guitar-driven core mixed with some subtle beats, they deliver a soundtrack mixed with indie soul, alternative funk and a little bit extra. With impressive moments such as “Words like History” and “446”, they proved that they create music to their own rule book. It flows to its own rhythm and not to your usual paint by numbers structure. This release showed Goodnite Robicheaux was a duo that stood out from the crowd.
It did not take them long to create their second album The Green Line. They have described this collection of songs as “a concept album where the two discuss the emotions, habits, and inner workings of people with vices from the perspective of the addict and how that relates to the world they live in. The Green Line has a groove all its own. It is what it is”.
The Green Line opens up with “Every time”. It begins with Mode’s soulful tone sharing the lines “Wish I didn’t need validation in ecstasy / Wish I didn’t need to feed on the flesh of the fair”. In support comes MacDonald captivating guitar style. Together, this partnership flows to share its tale about a desire for “a solution to the darker emotions that aren’t easily resolved”. The vocals have a raw emotive edge that gives their lyrics more of an impact. These hit home when the song comes to a close with “Every time, Every time / Every time”.
The mood changes with the arrival of “Candy”, described as “4/4 pimp stroll down the dirty streets”. With it, they also showcase a funkier groove which has a little swagger to it. It also shows how their sound does not follow the usual rule book. Instead, it flows in its own direction, breaking through the common structural barriers you’d expect in mainstream music.
“Run the World” tells a story about addiction from the viewpoint of the addict. It begins with the lines “Somebody told me you wanted me to die / That’s a call”. The verses talk about another fix. But, with the chorus, it mentions “I need medicine / For my pain”, but it does not make it clear if it is for a permanent cure of something to take away the pain. It is a track which shows off the lyrical talents of Goodnite Robicheaux, shared with so much emotion by Mode. What makes this song stand out more is its soundtrack. It features a cocktail of genres they describe as “EDM, R&B and World Music with a funky glaze”. It blends together to a great showcase of their musical talents.
Next comes “Vapor Trail” with a story about not wanting to be alone during life’s journey. As always, the lyrics on offer and MacDonald’s guitar skills continue to impress. However, it is the vocal presence of Mode which steals the spotlight. He presents a mix of soul and hip-hop elements to deliver his words. A great example of this at work is during the lines “Bass God bringing slaps to your tape deck / People wanna know just what I’m gonna say next / Vapor Trail / Exhale / Illmatic / Speaker blown out hear the funk through the static”.
Wrapping up The Green Line comes “Shadowboxing”. It delivers a tale about the struggle at being mad with someone you love. While Mode stole the show with the previous track, it is the music which takes the spotlight this time. It has more of a free-form flow that at times is difficult to follow. However, this is part of its charm. McDonald gets the opportunity to let his guitar skills shine throughout this song. Especially with the sexy guitar solo which grabs the listeners attention when it hits.
Goodnite Robicheaux show off their musical unpredictability and lyrical depth with their new album ‘The Green Line’
The Green Line may be a short album, but it has a lot to say. It walks its own walk and talks its own talk. Some may find this release a bit chaotic at times, but this is what makes this release stand out. Goodnite Robicheaux are letting their art flow and at times, go wild. Just press play and let the music take you on a journey.