Album: Days of Thunder by The Midnight
As you pass the Santa Monica Pier and start to head North on the Pacific Coast Highway you can look out to your left and catch the last glimmer of sunlight reaching up to the clouds and beaming off of the ocean. The iconic yellow street lights of the greater Los Angeles area have started their all night run and tick the highway in front of you, weaving up into the Palisades. That’s the image I got when I first listened to the album Days of Thunder by The Midnight. This two-year, six song project, created by iAmData and Tyler Lyle, encompasses the sounds and emotions of an era. As the first track “The Years (prologue)” begins, you can see the burning street lights passing over the hood of your car with each synth key, each one slowly transporting you into a hazy, nostalgic, once upon a time. Some far off memory. The journey continues by pulling you out of the whimsical dream and injecting you into the upbeat yet somber “Gloria.” This is the shortest song on the album, yet it still delivers by truly seizing the 1980s decade sonically before giving way to “WeMoveForward” which follows up at just over eight minutes. The kick drum, driving bass, and synth stems have a modern day house feel to them that keep you teetering on the threshold of past and present without coming off as corny, overdone, or scantily put together. It could easily be remixed by some of today’s top EDM producers into a crowd pleasing high energy track. However, I feel doing that would take away from its true meaning in the long run. Tyler and iAmData continue the EP with the perfect mix of long drawn guitar riffs, driven synths, electric drums, and amazing saxophone work in “Days of Thunder” that shows you this group’s true devotion to their sound as the album hits its climax. The song itself demands your attention and could easily be put on repeat, forever. Thus, keeping you locked into a nostalgic high for all of eternity. The Midnight find a way to softly bring you back down off that high with “Kick Drums & Red Wine,” guiding you back home along a lone, dimly lit highway. By the time you’ve reached “Los Angeles,” the duo have already started to release you gingerly back into the common era. A send off that coincides with the yearn for an infinite night and the comedown of the inevitable sunrise.
What The Midnight have captured with Days of Thunder, is a magnificent time capsule. A one night vacation back in time to a love story. A love story that, when listened to, places you in the driver’s seat with the lyrics taking ahold of you and forcing your foot harder into the accelerator. It is a great ride and could easily be a keystone album in the expansion and popularity of the dreamwave/synthwave genre. The overall tone and balance of 80‘s synth and amazing vocals could land this EP into a vinyl collection under the 80’s section in any record store and not a person would be wiser to its July 15th, 2014 release date.
The Band uses the Japanese term “Mono No Aware” on their Bandcamp.com page to set the tone of the album. They state, “It means basically, the sad beauty of seeing time pass – the aching awareness of impermanence. These are the days that we will return to one day in the future only in memories.” The Midnight then asks, “How do we capture them? How could we possibly be able to fully appreciate them in the present?” Their answer was to use this album to, “put time under a glass,” which I believe they accomplished, splendidly.
Buy the entire EP HERE.
Checkout the music videos on their YouTube Channel