Night Shop is the songwriting project of Justin Sullivan. Sullivan has worked as a touring drummer for the past twenty years with a half dozen DIY punk bands, including Ringers and an early incarnation of Worriers. In 2009, he joined The Babies alongside Kevin Morby and Cassie Ramone. When the band went on hiatus in 2013, Sullivan moved to Los Angeles with Morby and continued working with him as a staple of the live band and playing on all of Morby’s studio albums. In the meantime, Sullivan also formed the fuzz punk outfit Flat Worms, with Tim Hellman of Oh Sees and Will Ivy. But in the middle of a tour in August of 2016, Sullivan realized the rigors of the road had grown to be too much. He made the decision to take a full calendar year away from touring and focus, for the first time, on writing his own music.
Like most of Sullivan’s projects, the album is a family affair. His former touring and recording partner in the Kevin Morby band, Meg Duffy (Hand Habits) plays bass on several of the songs and sings backup vocals on a few as well. Flat Worms cohort Will Ivy plays lead guitar on some, while Mare labelmate and soon-to-be touring partner Anna St. Louis sings backup on two songs. The album was engineered by Jarvis Taveniere of Woods and mixed by Drew Fischer who previously worked with Sullivan on Morby’s first two records and The Babies second album Our House On The Hill.
“For the past twenty years, Justin has been guided by music, moving through the world one song at at time. No matter the project, he has always been seen less as a drummer and more as the yin to the songwriters yang, with his defined ability to help craft a song into exactly what it should be. He is a secret weapon – the thread that runs through many people’s favorite records.
And so it is here that he steps out from behind his kit for the first time and to stage center as Night Shop. When I think about this record, a lyric from “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” comes to mind. It’s the line where Dylan sings, “I’ll know my song, well before I starting singing.” In The Break is the product of someone who has had a lot to say and has waited for the perfect moment to say it.” -Kevin Morby