For anyone listening to the songs on the upcoming album by Weathers - Kids in the Night, - lead singer, front man and rhythm guitarist Cameron Boyer has a couple of requests. “Listen to this music on your own for the first time, preferably in your car, and preferably at night,” he says. “That is my wish. I think to do it justice, you have to be driving.”

Rowdy songs like “I’m Not Ok” and “Problems,” which brim with bright melodies, insistent hooks, and potent rhythmic energy, do feel custom-made to being sung at the top of your lungs while barreling down the highway. “I think we wanted to let loose and not hold ourselves to any harsh guidelines,” says Boyer. “When the band first started out, we were really strict. Every song had to be dark. Anything that felt a little happy was kind of a no-no. We let all of that go. We wanted the music to be fun and energetic.” When Boyer and guitarist Cameron Olsen began writing new songs in January 2017, what emerged was “this messy, glitchy sound,” Boyer says, adding that a 1958 Silvertone guitar bought from a garage sale is played on nearly every song, and gave the music what the album’s producer Tim Pagnotta (Walk The Moon, Neon Trees) called a “ratty, acoustic” feel.

The imperfect nature of the sound dovetails neatly with the album’s theme of self-acceptance, which can be heard in such lyrics as “So what if I’m not ok?” from the anthemic single “I’m Not Ok.” “It’s about accepting your flaws and realizing that the so-called ‘bad’ things about you are actually what shape you into who you are now — a stronger, better person,” Boyer says. “It’s asking, ‘Are the bad things really bad or are they just temporarily hard?’”

Boyer had personal reasons for wanting to make feel-good songs about self-value. He had been through some challenging events that he wanted to process through the songwriting, including his long-time best friend turned girlfriend cheating on him and his relationship with his mother, who has suffered from Bipolar II disorder and schizophrenia his entire life. “Because of the way she is, she hasn’t been around much and there’s always been this push-pull of, ‘I’m mad at you, but I know it’s not your fault,’” he says. (The constant threat of his mother’s condition hanging over him led Boyer to write the album track “Secret’s Safe With Me.”

Boyer’s way out of the pain was to “party, be crazy, and be single,” he says. “That was happening when we started writing the new songs. ‘The Night is Calling‘ is about being betrayed and moving on. It’s about how I wanted to figure out who I was. I didn’t like who I was. I wanted to change and I wanted that to be reflected in the music. In doing so, I realized that maybe who I am isn’t so bad. And maybe the change was learning to be okay with myself. Then ‘Shallow Water’ is about coming to the end of my crazy period, closing out that chapter of my life, and wondering if I’m still a little bit shallow.”

Music has always been Boyer’s escape route. His earliest memories are of listening to The Beach Boys’ Greatest Hits with his dad (also a musician). He met Cameron Olsen at a local Battle of the Bands in Manhattan Beach and the two began writing together. Bassist Brennen Bates joined the band after responding to a Facebook message that Boyer posted, and drummer Cole Carson was recommended by Boyer’s father, who played in a band with Cole’s father in their tiny Illinois hometown years ago. “We watched Cole play drums on YouTube,” Boyer recalls. “I’m not exaggerating when I say that Cole is one of the best drummers I’ve ever seen. I was blown away.”

Weathers emerged in 2016 with the darkly tinged, guitar-driven alt-rock songs “Happy Pills” and “I Don't Wanna Know,” which have racked up a collective 9.4 million Spotify streams. Now, armed with a new sound and uplifting, hopeful songs, the band members are looking forward to releasing Kids in the Night in three parts — two EPs followed by a full album — this year. “We used to write stuff like, ‘Shit sucks and we’re sad about it,’” Boyer says. “Now we’re like, ‘Shit sucks and we’re okay with that.’ It’s very empowering.”

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