THE MIDNIGHT – Nocturnal (2017)
Last year, Endless Summer was a breakout hit / album for wonder Synthwave duo THE MIDNIGHT (featured here), an instant favorite mixing ’80s inspired sound with poppy AORish melodies. As one can imagine, many fans have been eagerly awaiting their next release – and “Nocturnal”, their just released new effort, is sure to please.
If Endless Summer was a teen romance, “Nocturnal” is a very grown-up late night affair with a nice dash of heartbreak. The Midnight has managed the much coveted feat of retaining their signature warm and passionate retro sound while also updating it to new heights.
As the name implies, this new album does feel a bit darker, neon-light somnolent at times, giving the tracks more of an edge – while staying away completely from traditional “dark” aesthetics.
Think of it as The Midnight after dark.
“Nocturnal” feels like a neon-soaked city in a heavy rainstorm – it can be a touch ominous at times – but then we feel an instant reprieve from the likes of an amorous singing saxophone – particularly fantastic on “Crystalline” – or the beautiful Nikki Flores vocals on “Light Years.”
These lighter, longing elements perfectly augment the thrumming basslines, calling to mind the feeling of lost love. “Nocturnal” is, in short, a splendid mix of mystery, passion, and heartache.
Lyle’s vocals have also improved – somehow – over their already near-perfect delivery on ‘Endless Summer’. They are more mature, more melodic and feature more resolution, giving each track an identifiable iconic soundtrack feel.
This new record also features a fantastic collaboration with none other than TIMECOP1983 (another really good Synthwave artist to be featured here soon) on one of the highlights of the album, “River of Darkness”, pure ’80s stuff with a Miami Vice / Knight Rider TV show’s feeling.
All in all, “Nocturnal” is a fantastic addition to The Midnight’s body of work that features an interesting take on their already well-developed sound.
While the Synthwave stuff we prefer to present here are the kind of AORish oriented, The Midnight style is more poppy but they craft such wonderful melodies with so awesome production (above the average for this genre) that everyone need to check this album if you are a serious ’80s fan.
Compared to the previous album, “Nocturnal” is much more darker, oppressive, nocturnal indeed, but the duo’s classic melodies are still there.
Eighties suckers, don’t miss this one.
01 – Shadows
02 – Crystalline
03 – Collateral
04 – River of Darkness (feat. Timecop1983)
05 – Nocturnal
06 – Light Years (feat. Nikki Flores)
07 – Tokyo Night Train
All instruments, production: Tim McEwan
All instruments: Tyler Lyle
Saxophone: Thomas Edinger
Lead guitar on 2, 4: Pelle Hillström
Synth guitar solo on 3: Mads Storm
Guitar harmonics on 3: Dan Rockett
Crystalline whisper: Kristiane