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Story / Erica Hawkins
Photos / Nolan Knight

Jonathan Capeci and Joey Baretta of the band Nightly are cousins, which means they’ve had their whole lives to shape the dynamics that would ultimately allow them to share their built-in band with the world. Though Tennessee is known for its inclination towards County, the alt-pop duo fell in love with Nashville for its ever-growing musical habitat. So after just one tour stop in the music city, they decided to pack up from Philadelphia and call Nashville home. Capeci found it to be the perfect place for nurturing their sky-high ambitions: “I fell in love with the environment around here. It’s really musician-friendly and it feels like a creative space. We figured we were going to try it for just three years, and then we just ended up staying.” That decision has paid off, giving them the opportunity to learn first hand how they and other musicians can progress in the industry. “Nashville was the first place we met people who did music for a living who weren’t in cover bands. It was inspiring. You’re like, oh — you can do this and do it on a bigger scale.” Learning that  sharing their music wasn’t just a pipe dream gave them the drive to make their shared fantasy a reality. “It just seemed like something that was as far-fetched as being an actor in Hollywood– intangible or something. But, moving here, you would see the drummer from one of your favorite bands at a local coffee shop.”
The city has embraced the pair. In fact, they recently sold out their first hometown show as headliners. “We haven’t done a ton of headlining stuff. We’re a pretty young band and don’t have a lot of music out or at least up until a few months ago we just had four songs out. So, even when we did do a headlining show every now and again, which was very rare, we would play maybe eight or 10 songs, but people would only know four of them.” Now they’re building out their discography with new songs like “Holding On” that crowds are already singing every word to. The track starts steadily with pulsating synth keys underscoring the lyrics that exquisitely convey a sordid kind of young love and longing: “Holding on to your old sweatshirt / The black one with the cigarette burns / It smells like your perfume / There’s always a part of me that’s holding on to you…”
Back in 2016, they released their first single “XO” from their first EP Honest and the breakout track skyrocketed to more than 2 million plays on Spotify in just a matter of weeks. But, even with the success of their debut, the band isn’t just focused on creating more viral moments, they still remember the reasons they wanted to create music in the first place… to have fun.  “I don’t know if anybody’s going to like this or not,” Capeci explained, “It’s not necessarily something you can control. For me, it’s just something we as a band love to do. Writing for me is therapeutic and it’s fun. If you gave me $10,000,000 and an insane house and unlimited resources, I would still be doing this.”
Nightly’s latest EP will be released this fall on Interscope Records. Catch them on tour with rapper NF this fall. Ticket details here.




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