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Between Production Work With St. Vincent and David Byrne, Paper Chase Mastermind John Congleton Launches New Band Nighty Night

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Just a few minutes ago, local producer John Congleton confirmed to DC9 that he is indeed currently producing St. Vincent's third, as-yet-unnamed album at his Elmwood Recording Studio in Oak Cliff. No surprise there: Congleton played a major role in Dallas native Annie Clark's sophomore album, Actor, earning all the critical acclaim it did. At this point in the recording process, Congleton guesses that he and Clark are about a third of the way through their studio time.

But, as his stock as a producer rises (check this week's Observer paper edition for how he played a pivotal role on The Walkmen's new album Lisbon), so do the questions about what happened to his own band, The Paper Chase, who have been rather quiet since the release of their 2009 full-length, Someday This Could All Be Yours, Vol. 1.

"We're not broken up, necessarily, but we're certainly not an active band," Congleton says of the band with which he made his name. "The Paper Chase hasn't done anything since April of last year. We're still really good friends."

Instead, he tells us, these days he has a new band in the works.

The band, called Nighty Night, features Congleton's Paper Chase bandmate Jason Garner on drums, as well as members of Austin's Shearwater and New York's Slow Six. Currently, Congleton says, the band is sitting on a finished EP that has no set release date.

Don't expect a major change in direction for Congleton's music with the new project, though: He says Nighty Night's sound doesn't venture too far from where The Paper Chase left off.

"I don't think anybody's going to be super shocked by what it sounds like," he admits. "I only know how to play guitar one way, and I only know how to write a certain type of song."

Fans will get their first chance to hear the band perform live in June, when the band plans on playing their first area show.

In the meantime, Congleton's keeping himself quite busy as a producer.

Turns out St. Vincent isn't the only big act he's worked with lately. He's reluctant to drop names, but excitedly mentions that he's finished a collaboration with David Byrne and recently wrapped up production on the forthcoming Clap Your Hands Say Yeah record, which he says is their best yet. Granted, he's biased. But given his recent production efforts, we're thinking we'll take his word on that much for now.

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