Fresh off a successful North American tour, today The Midnight release their new hair-metal-infused anthem “Change Your Heart or Die” as the kickoff single for an unspecified forthcoming album. Although Tim McEwan and Tyler Lyle (along with guests, such as Jupiter Winter’s Lelia Broussard and Royce Whittaker) have trended toward crafting songs that are more overtly rock-structured — think of “Prom Night” from 2020’s Monsters —this number showcases a more pronounced turn toward tapping into this particularly delightful iteration of 1980s nostalgia in a modern fashion. Essentially, the track kills.
“Change” has been a big hit live and here the band expertly translate that energy to your speakers. Whittaker’s axe work is a killer combo of searing guitar solos and chunky riffage, supported by an array of darkly illuminating synths and chest-thumping drums. On top of all of that is Lyle taking his vocals to soaring levels, especially with the million Lyles in the chorus. (Think of Mutt Lange’s work with Def Leppard.) It’s not all pastiche for pastiche’s sake, though. This cut is legitimately well written — with memorable lyrics, a profoundly catchy chorus, and deftly executed bridges.
Here’s what the synthwave powerhouses had to say about the song in a statement: “Since we’ve begun touring, our music has continued to be influenced by communal, live experiences. This is something we’ve missed for the last two years. We wanted to write a song that was about having a collective experience with other people and singing something raw at the top of our lungs. This song, when you sing it together, becomes more than the sum of its parts. The song started with the track idea for the verses, and Tyler had the lyrics, which he had produced himself to a house track, but it wasn’t until we got the call and response chorus that the song took on the life of a metal anthem.”
The LA- and Atlanta-based band will take their tour overseas next month, hitting up the UK and Ireland. They’ll kick off the tour at Banquet Records in Kingston on May 4, following that with dates in Brighton, Brixton, Glasgow, and Dublin within the week. There aren’t many tickets left, so get on it.
“Change Your Heart Or Die” is released by Counter Records, an imprint of Ninja Tune. You can get it in digital form via your favorite spots.
Want to know more about The Midnight?
Vehlinggo has interviewed them multiple times, including for this blockbuster profile and for last year’s fifth anniversary release of Endless Summer. Furthermore, Vehlinggo Presents has exclusively released a song of theirs on the popular 5 Years comp. There’s a lot to work with. Enjoy.