NEW ARTIST: MIDNIGHT BOY
I still can’t quite tell if new artist Midnight Boy is serious or not, and I’m not really sure if it matters. This group is unlike anything to have graced music in decades - I can’t decide if Midnight Boy is parodying the 80s or just straight up living in them. If this is an homage, it is the most sincere and thoughtfully crafted homage I’ve seen in a long time. The simple fact of the matter is that the music is good, and I normally can’t stand a note of highly synthesized, skin-deep 80s pop. Midnight Boy sells it, and they sell it hard.
Special thanks to Duffster for introducing us to this pleasantly passé act. It’s the kind of undeniably catchy, super synth-fueled, hardcore pop that you want so badly to hate but then find yourself singing in the shower. It’s a guilty pleasure. It’s optimistic, overly saccharine, and revels in its naiveté. It almost convinces you for a second that, hey, maybe everything is cool and we should just throw on some neon spandex and get to dancing.
You can hear what I’m talking about in the video for “People Are Strange,” where the lead singer just up and gets stark naked. I honestly didn’t even know you could show this on YouTube.
If you can look past all the cleanly shaven wiggly bits and listen to the music, you’ll hear something downright anachronistic. A solid, driving, synth heavy score, effervescent vocals and hooks for days. It honestly just makes me smile.
In “Roll With It” the whole experiment crosses into a different reality. The video feels like stepping into a time machine, and the song itself is so uncannily 80s that you wonder for a second if someone just discovered it in a time capsule.
Yet the rabbit hole goes even deeper. The best thing I’ve seen by Midnight Boy is easily this live video for “Security.” That guy with the long blonde hair and the dangling cross earring that’s been absolutely crushing uncanny replicas of 80s American pop classics is Swedish!
You might want to call this new pop artist a gimmick, or one step away from a cover band, or even unoriginal. I think it’s something else entirely. I think it is, like Midnight Boy themselves say on their website, “a conscious effort to be naïve in a cynical world.”
Everything about Midnight Boy just makes me happy. Listening to them is like stepping into a bubble where the cocaine-fueled, big-haired, neon optimism of the 80s never died, and it’s a beautiful place.