Nathan Daniel Shineywater
Best Friends and bandmates Nathan D. "Nabob" Shineywater and Rachael "Rabob" Hughes wrote most of the ethereal, lovely songs for Brightblack Morning Light's first album at home - which, in their case happened to be a tepee in the Borthern California forest where the Ewok footage from Star Wars was filmed. Fir inspiration, Shineywater smoked copious amounts of weed and walked around in the woods communing with nature. "Everything that we bother to sing, I've actually walked out into the wilderness and sung." he says. "This collection of songs was sung to a particular owl family that I used to visit every night."
Shineywater grew up in rural Alabama, raised by a preacher grandfather and a coke-dealer dad. His earliest experience with music was singing with his grandpa's congregation.. "All these people seemed to be releasing something and at the same time transporting themselves with their own voices without a lot of pretension around it." he says. "People would be singing who hardly had any teeth." Hughes, also raised in Alabama, learned organ from her grandmother and developed a teenage obsession with My Bloody Valentine. After Shineywater spent some time in California - designing graphics for skateboard magazine Transworld near San Diego and living on a commune in Arcata - he returned to Birmingham and met Hughes. After recording some demos together, the nomadic pair headed to the marijuana capital of California - Humbolt County.
Aided by a tabla player who used to play with P-Funk and a punk-rock drummer who studies Zeth meditation, Hughes and Shineywater layer whispery harmonies on top of Hughes' Fender Rhodes, crafting a narcotic, blues-infused sound that recalls Mazzy Star and Morcheeba. Fuzzy hand claps and four-part harmonies straight from a Baptist hymnbook anchor the woozy guitar and organ on the six-minute lead track, "Everybody Daylight."
Before moving to California, BBML were introduced to indie hero Will Oldham who invited them to tour in 2002. From there the duo was offered a shot playing at the 2005 Slint-curated London festival All Tomorrow's Parties. "I left the country with five dollars and a pair of flip-flops, and it was winter over there," says Shineywater - who curates a music festival of his own, Quiet Quiet Ocean Spell. The annual gathering, held in Big Sur, California, was an incubator for the "freak folk" scene that produced Joanna Newsom and Devendra Banhart. - Rolling Stone