First things first – LP only starts singing after the reverb levels in her headphones, in the Degraw Sound studio of New York, become “cool” enough. When the first notes of this live rendition of “Night Like This” begin, it’s a pleasure to hear the more natural and gentle instrumental intro instead of the really heavy drums recorded for Forever For Now. Here, in the Buzzsessions performance, it’s simply the elegant sound of the percussion entwined with the noble 12-string guitar melody line.
Still frame from the Buzzsessions video
We love this recording for the beautiful balance of vocals-guitar-drums, which is difficult to achieve on stage (especially when you have a drummer as fierce as Aaron), and which was definitely left off of the record. The ukulele is perfectly audible and the percussion creates a pleasant background for LP’s voice. Also, note the omnipresent, professional cloth thrown over one of the drums; though it could never beat the old blue and white t-shirt Aaron placed on his drums for the Forbes performance.
“Night Like This” is a bittersweet song, inspired by “an ex,” as LP told Balcony TV. On the songwriting side, there is quite an interesting story about how LP recorded this song for her album, Forever For Now. It was something she wrote for herself, but due to some misunderstanding between her and her manager, the song was presented to Shakira’s people while LP was still working to finish it. Here’s how she told the story, step by step, for WFPK Radio Louisville in 2014:
“Night Like This,” I almost didn’t use that song. Shakira bought it to use. I think she purchased, or they found a bunch of songs, that were this certain kind of song, and that she was gonna do a record like that. Then she swerved at the last minute and did what she’s doing now, the more dancey stuff. But they really wanted it. I remember, they were really upset when we took it back. Because it was just a whoopsie kind of situation. My management thought that I didn’t want it, and I was like: “yeah, I don’t have a bridge for it yet” and I just was thinking I have to finish it, not that I didn’t want it. Somebody else pitched it and then it got picked up and then they played it for Rob Cavallo, the producer of my record, and he was like: “Nah, I think you have to do this.” I was cool with Shakira doing the song, honestly. I didn’t mind. I thought it would be kind of cool. But I’m glad I kept it, for sure.
Now, three years later, LP says she sees it differently when she looks back and reflects on the situation. Nowadays, she says she regrets she didn’t let Shakira do “Night Like This.” She feels her record label made her keep the song and she wishes Shakira could have sung it, because “it would have been so much better.” In January of 2017, during a meeting with her fans in Warsaw, she said: “It would have been so much sexier. It’s sweet when I sing it, but it would have been sexy.”
“Night Like This” is a lovely song for sure, although it got a massive amount of production on the Forever For Now album. We love the live versions of it (acoustic or not) and we are always thrilled to hear it live. Sometimes we wonder how it would have sounded if Shakira had recorded it, but it would have been a shame if this song had disappeared from Forever For Now, as it’s definitely one of its highlights.
✶ LP performing “Night Like This” for the Buzzsessions