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Articles Home » 2017 Articles » Midnight, The - 2017 Nocturnal [ep]
Midnight, The - 2017 Nocturnal [ep]


ARTIST: Midnight, The
ALBUM: Nocturnal [ep]
LABEL: Self Released
YEAR: 2017


LINEUP: Tim McEwan - instruments, production * Tyler Lyle - vocals, lyrics

TRACK LISTING: 01 Shadows * 02 Crystalline * 03 Collateral * 04 River of Darkness (feat. Timecop1983) * 05 Nocturnal * 06 Light Years (feat. Nikki Flores) * 07 Tokyo Night Train


WEBLINKS: Official Website | FB Page

We've discussed the merits of the synthwave movement here at GDM for the best part of a year. There are a heap of videos on YouTube, but the scene is not particularly cohesive when it comes to collections of music under the guise of an album. Mostly they are singles, and people have tended to aggregate synthwave music under playlists on the various streaming platforms. Two artists that seem to have broken the mould are FM-84 and The Midnight, who have put out full albums and EP's. For our very first synthwave review, we look at last years 'Nocturnal EP' from The Midnight.

The Midnight are the pairing of Los Angeles based producer Tim McEwan and singer/songwriter Tyler Lyle. They first hit the headlines with their 'Endless Summer' album in 2016, which was much lighter and breezier in style and tone than the latest 'Nocturnal' effort. If you can imagine a synthwave soundtrack on top of a movie like 'Blade Runner 2049' then you'll easily get the drift. There's a dark futuristic vibe running throughout the EP which adds to its aura and imagery. It's a collaboration that works despite both blokes having varying backgrounds, and not solely synthwave either. Lyle is from Carrollton Georgia (home of former 80's hard rockers Fortnox), and has worked with the country act The Dixie Chicks. Meanwhile McEwan is a Danish born Scotsman who has spent his professional career behind the recording booth, and working with top names in the biz.

The Songs
Truth be told, the stuff on 'Nocturnal' is how I expect Synthwave music to sound. There is a vibe and mood created, which could drop you into the middle of a cinematic extravaganza. Take the opener 'Shadows' for instance. With a song-title invoking the scene, it's hard not to imagine a darkened evening backdrop in the middle of some big city back-alley. 'Crystalline' is the epitome of smooth synthwave, the entrancing sax work throughout is great. The nocturnal night-time theme carries through into 'Collateral' with more killer sax work. There's even a guitar sounding solo, though I'm pretty certain this is a keyboard lead. Either way, it sounds awesome. 'River Of Darkness' featuring Dutch artist Timecop1983 has borrowed the riffs from Clif Magness's 'Jenny's In Love'. Hard not to ignore that one. This one pulses along at mid-tempo, making it sound like a genuine rock track. The title-track 'Nocturnal' reverts back to the style you see/hear so frequently on YouTube amid a landslide of other artists in this genre. 'Light Years' is a delicious pop-flavoured slice of synthwave featuring Nikki Flores and Lyle duet together. The EP winds down nicely with the subtle 'Tokyo Night Train', there's no percussion or rhythm track evident, it's just a cascade of synths that flow to the end.

In Summary
Things are picking up for The Midnight, with lots of reviews happening, which is good to see. As Malcolm (Explorer) mentioned in his year end wrap of 2017, synthwave is a genre worth looking at into the future. Yes, some of it is a bit derivative, but there are some nuggets to be found, count The Midnight within that group.

The Midnight - 2017 Shadows

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#1 | Explorer on January 27 2018 22:19:50
I'm really enjoying what I'm hearing from the synthwave artists, and you're right this is excellent. I'm finding it a rather refreshing change from my usual listening habits. I just wished they would get round to physical releases though, but the downloads will more than suffice for now.
#2 | jefflynnefan on January 27 2018 23:00:32
This is really good. Is it me or do I hear a little Al Stewart in here?
#3 | gdazegod on January 28 2018 07:02:28
Both The Midnight albums (Endless Summer and Nocturnal) are now in the D/L Links 2 forum.
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