When I was interviewing The Midnight on their One Beating Heart livestream for Plus1’s COVID-19 relief fund, Tim McEwan and Tyler Lyle teased that something was coming from them on May 6. Well here we are and that something is “Deep Blue,” an exquisite new song. But you also get to pre-order an entirely new album coming out on July 10 on Counter Records, an imprint of the legendary Ninja Tune.
“Deep Blue,” the first single of this cycle off forthcoming album Monsters, is an energetic minor-key dive into the feeling of being surprised — being shot right through from a bolt out of the blue. It provides insight into the passion and intensity of the teenage experience that Monsters is said to touch on. “I didn’t know I had a soul/until the moment you kissed me/I wasn’t looking for you,” Lyle sings, letting that final “you” drift away into the synths. He wasn’t looking for love or anything this intense — he just wanted someone to keep from falling into the deep blue. It happened anyway, though. Not only is he saved from the abyss, but the romantic safety net is something more enduring than ephemeral. Sometimes you find things you weren’t looking for.
Those who heard last album, Kids, or 2019 single “America Online” will be surely be surprised by the return of blistering sax solos. The wail of the woodwind instrument leaves burn marks on the synths, a twinkling procession of DX-7 piano notes serving as a salve.
To that end, “Deep Blue” might be construed as a return to form for The Midnight, but listen more closely. There’s something grander bubbling underneath the surface. This is not a band that needs to rest on its laurels, nor is it a band that must be bound to any one genre. We’ll find out soon enough what Monsters yields when it releases this summer. Until then, pre-order it in digital and physical formats right now.
“Deep Blue” artwork by Aaron Campbell, who has been doing their artwork since the Kids release cycle. He also created the Monsters cover.
Don’t miss The Midnight’s contribution to the Vehlinggo Presents: 5 Years compilation.