Sean Martin, frontman and guitarist for The Night Café, has suddenly passed away at the age of 26.
The band announced Martin’s passing on their social media, writing: “We are devastated to share the sudden passing of our best friend Sean. Words can’t describe the pain we are feeling right now, we’re still struggling to process it all.
“We ask everyone to respect the privacy of Sean’s family and friends during this difficult time.”
The cause of death has not been shared publicly.
Indie pop enthusiasts will have had the Liverpool band well on their radar, rising to prominence early in their career to be revered as one of the most well-known bands of the modern alternative landscape.
Despite never reaching the heights of some of their contemporaries, the instrumental fluidity of their sound maintained a ‘laissez-faire’ approach to the competitive market, an attractive niche to fans.
Martin, Josh Higgins, Arran O’Connell Whittle, and Carl Dillon bonded over a shared love of guitar-driven music in school and formed the band in 2014.
We are devastated to share the sudden passing of our best friend Sean. Words can’t describe the pain we are feeling right now, we’re still struggling to process it all. We ask everyone to respect the privacy of Sean’s family and friends during this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/cRSUa7tIoi
— The Night Café (@nightcafeband) November 6, 2023
They added: “Sean was not just our bandmate, he was our childhood best friend that we shared so many memories with before the band even started.
“We made so many more memories along the way and achieved things we only dreamt of that we will cherish forever.”
Their 2017 debut EP, ‘Get Away From The Feeling’, was a well-polished insight into their potential – sonically capable with their synth tunes, the vitality and confidence of the band was refreshingly palpable. They fused classic indie melodies with a shoegaze style, earning them the honour of supporting artists such as Sundara Karma and Blaenavon.
Embarking on several headline tours and performing at countless festivals, they released their debut album, ‘0151’, in 2019. And it’s here that the layers of hazy, distorted riffs paired with a narrative of vivid lyrics engraves their sound. Infectiously and instantly recognisable, a well-deserved feat for any artist.
Tributes have been pouring in online and across the music world, including Jamie Webster, The Hunna and Vistas.
The Wombats wrote a lengthy response underneath the band’s emotional Instagram post, replying: “So sorry to hear this guys, he was literally the nicest, most lovely guy to have around on tour. Not to mention how talented and amazing he was. Our thoughts are with you all and Sean’s closest. Lots of love and fond memories, The Bats x”
The Cheap Thrills shared their much-loved track ‘You Change with the Seasons’, with The Larkins adding: “Sending our love boys”.