On ‘Deep Blue,’ we’re yet to hear a bad song from The Midnight.
I honestly cannot pinpoint to you all a bad song by The Midnight. Sure, there’s plenty of songs from this American synth duo’s catalog that I cherish more than other tracks of theirs, and there’s definitely a couple of average tunes tucked away in their discography. Yet for the most part, the prolific and electric pair of Tim Daniel McEwan (guitarist/singer/lyricist) and Tyler Lyle (synths, songwriting, production) have an incredibly pristine, rock-solid track-record of releases together. It’s a grand body of work that’s spread out over the latter half of the previous decade, with releases like ‘Endless Summer‘ (2016) and ‘Nocturnal‘ (2017) since making them one of the biggest and best names within the currently exploding scenes of synthwave resurgence and synth-pop.
Moving forward, The Midnight have a new album coming out in 2020 and last week we received the second vertical slice of this new LP: ‘Deep Blue.’ ‘Deep Blue‘ is a romantic, midnight-reverie piece about distractions, daydreams, and procrastination. It’s the sonic vision of dim, moody lights of monitors and radios partly filling bedrooms at night; the musical picture of the distant glow of a neon sign outside a half-filled bar or seedy club. It’s detailed by rising synthesizer pads, glittering keys, arpeggiated melodies, pulsating drum machines, electronic stabs, Tyler’s signature 1980s-meets-2010’s production style, and Tim’s heart-warming and soothing vocals. So in essence, it’s classic Midnight, but with the band’s soul and heart intact. For while The Midnight knows what their sound is, it never stumbles even when they may play it safe; it’s always written and delivered very well. And that’s the case here with ‘Deep Blue,’ as the group heads towards more of a ’90s aesthetic. (Just look at that lovely cover art piece by Aaron Campbell!)
Of course, the most noticeable aspect of ‘Deep Blue‘ is the big return of those much-loved screaming saxophone leads to The Midnight’s 1980s-focused soundscapes. The sax was absent from their last release, ‘Kids‘ (2018), and while I do not believe that The Midnight need saxophones in order to make catchy, compelling songs – ‘Wave,’ ‘Lost Boy,’ and ‘Kids (Reprise)‘ prove that they can do without just fine – it was still a big talking point about that record for many fans. Well, now it’s back, baby! And those brilliant sax parts, like so many other great Midnight compositions, drives this latest track forward wonderfully and adds a great dosage of bright energy to the nostalgic proceedings.
The Midnight’s new album, ‘Monsters,’ is out July 10th, also featuring 2019 single, ‘America Online.’ Dive into their deep blue: