One-Liners Reviews

One-Liners: The Midnight, SAINT-SAMUEL, Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith

I have some downright fantastic music to recommend to you today.

The Midnight – “Dance With Somebody” and “Prom Night”

If it’s not obvious yet from the singles, The Midnight’s forthcoming album Monsters is a profound work of art. I previously wrote about “Deep Blue,” so let me wax genuflectory about “Dance With Somebody” from a few weeks ago and today’s new single, “Prom Night.” Both cuts would seem to center on the idea of letting loose to dance and have fun, but it goes a bit deeper than that. The complementary narratives tap into some key fiery emotions of adolescence.

On the energetic “Dance,” Tyler Lyle and Tim McEwan tap into that idea of reticence that plagues those who aren’t exactly wallflowers but are not quite the life of the party either. Lyle sings “Life’s too short to dance by yourself” and you can’t help but agree. “Prom,” a bona fide splash of Hughesian bliss, tackles the teenage feeling that everything is high stakes — every decision a potential life-altering one. When Lyle sings, “Can you leap from the ledge/And bridge the two halves of the world?” you remember your own crucial teenage moments. Speak now or forever hold your peace, because life’s too short to dance by yourself. Pre-order Monsters right now — it releases on July 10 on Counter Records.

(Don’t forget to listen to The Midnight’s exclusive Vehlinggo Presents song.)

SAINT-SAMUEL – Keloid Clinic

Longtime Vehlinggo readers are no strangers to the exquisite analogue sounds of Montreal maestro SAINT-SAMUEL (AKA In a Dramatic Gesture). His concept albums and EPs, composed and recorded on analogue gear and things like TASCAM tape machines, are deeply moving and engaging cinematic expressions that conjure up folks like Ashra, Tangerine Dream, John Carpenter, and Wendy Carlos without sounding derivative. New album Keloid Clinic, inspired by David Cronenberg’s late-1970s, early 1980s work, is my favorite release of SAMUEL’s since 2016’s ŠVANKMAJER. Absolutely DO NOT sleep on this release.

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith – The Mosaic Of Transformation and “Lagoon”

KAS creates some of the best musical experiences out there. I find the depth and breadth of her audacious creative choices to be just a stunning display of artistic courage. Her latest album, The Mosaic Of Transformation, out on Ghostly, is perhaps her most transcendent and moving work yet. Not to be ignored, though, is “Lagoon,” the single she released Monday. It’s a kaleidoscopic composition that feels related to Mosaic, albeit with a rinse of Ryuichi Sakamoto and Brian Wilson’s Mount Vernon and Fairway (A Fairy Tale).

(Editor’s Note: As established in this post, the One-Liners column is a concise but meaningful way to highlight Vehlinggo-recommended releases. It’s not exactly weekly, but it can be. Entries are almost never one line, but they could be. Check out the most recent One-Liners post.)