"Glow In The Dark" by Destroy Nate Allen, published with permission from the album 'Glow In The Dark'.
At some point in your life you'll meet a couple who just so completely gets it right, it permeates throughout all they do, inspiring something so sweet and strong and stable, you just want to bask in the glow of it and hope like hell it rubs off so you'll know that kind of love too. Nate and Tessa Allen of the band Destroy Nate Allen are this couple, and their love story unfolds in the music of their latest album Glow In The Dark. Quirky and off-beat and crazy fun, Glow In The Dark is the kind of folk punk rock you want to listen to lying on your bed with your eyes closed as you plan your day when you just want the day to make you smile.
The story begins in 2004 when the band was known as simply Nate Allen. He'd just moved to San Francisco where he met Tessa, and they quickly became best friends over a span of three years before they started dating, marrying eight months later in February 2008, and the band evolved from there. Tessa joined him on the road once they were married and they expanded their performances to include the audience in the ongoing romance, inspiring sing-a-longs, circle pits, power slides and theater games, with them in the center as part of the crowd. Their entire show is a hands-on experience Nate Allen described as, "People either love us or hate us. Either way we don't allow indifference."
With the help of Kevin at Vinyl Remains, this album went from a 7" compilation of on-the-road favorites to their first big record. A vinyl in Dayglo pink and green, it's a fun, happy reminder of the personalities of Nate and Tessa, and include many fan favorites from the road, like "Jesus Keep Me Safe From The Cops," "My Parents Managed Apartments," "Loving You Means Everything From Me" and "Turns Out You're Perfect For Me," but the biggest take-away for me lies in the songs "Glow In The Dark" and "Broken Wings."
"Glow In The Dark" is a sweet, catchy song that captures the essence of their relationship and let's us know they're in it for the long haul, and "Broken Wings," an acoustic solo for Nate Allen that speaks of heaven and hell and the choices people make, is so quiet, simple and emotional, he admits he was so upset he nearly broke down when they recorded it. As quirky and fun as their music is, the lyrics are laden with religious and political references they've grappled with throughout their lives, and the deepest emotional pull of their feelings for each other. Contradicting the music and tone of their performances, the lyrics give us permission to laugh in the face of the serious shit around us.
The song "Loving You Means Everything From Me" gives us a glimpse of the dynamics of their relationship and the on-going argument they have about which one of them is more "punk," a common tongue-in-cheek argument in the punk rock community as a whole. Nate laughingly admits that Tessa is probably the winner, because she sported a mohawk for six years, as Tessa insists "Street punk! Street punk! Oi! Oi! Oi!"
If you want to experience this love story in action, check out a show and feel inspired by a relationship we all hope to have someday, you can get the album Glow In The Dark and tour info about Destroy Nate Allen here.