Midnight Faces are available @ iTunes.
by Kt Emmerson
Hopefully, you’ve been binge-watching the new Hanna series on Netflix (Joel Kinnamen is the hottest dad in the Viking tundra, even if he’s more concerned with your lethal knifing skills than the health of your internal psyche). Or maybe you were more impressed with the original Eric Bana version.
In any case, Hanna, completely isolated from civilization as her father seeks to ensure her survival through assassination graduate school, suddenly happens upon a teen counterpart, rife with appropriate disgruntled ennui and discotheque familiarity. As new friend shares Euro teen standard of living, picture Hanna’s jaw-dropping realization that life ON the grid includes mind-blowing, intoxicating dance tracks tapping into electrons and neurons daddy did not want Hanna exposed to.
Parenting is not unlike Hanna’s bunker-ed upbringing. Isolation, regimented yet chaotic, no choices or control to explore what’s beyond the great tall trees—or for me, those four walls locking a deprived and desperate new wave damsel under constant hostage taking distress.
Considering the circumstances, I give myself a pass for just discovering Midnight Faces a day or two ago. That scene where Hanna perks up like a lost bird hearing a reminiscent lark song in the distance, the hypnotic beats not heard since early New Order enveloping her nervous system, delicious fingerpicking guitar Billy Duffy would eat his heart out for. That was my expression when Siren’s “played next”… on my YouTube account. Oh, sweet algorithm! I forgive you all your previous bad folk singing miss steps.
…what light through yonder window breaks? It is the synthesizer, and Midnight Faces is the sun…
…Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious half- baked nouveau new wave, already full of grief…
Heart skipping a beat, returning to a younger time in life when new music was treasured more than pointy pilgrim shoes and wet and wild black lipstick,
I was floating on air…and almost too afraid to click the next track…many a sad realization that there was only one song directly influenced by what seems like an ever-narrowing niche of new romantic canon. I risked it though, always one to throw caution to the musical bitcoin wind (or is that my gen x hold over mentality saying “f-it!?).
I gotta sit down, my brain said, when Blue Haze rendered its love notes to my eager ears.
If music be the food of love, play on…
On day three of Midnight Faces sound-tracking my off-the-grid-of-cool housewife life; laundering, cooking, making beds, laundering, teacher appreciation spazzing…I notice something more I really adore about this band (phfff…band seems too low a word…force? tectonic plate? granite rock?). The vocalist, Philip Stancil’s distinctly Midwestern/heartland yawp is nostalgia inducing. No, it’s more like C. S. Lewis’ Sehnsucht…
…“that unnameable something, desire for which pierces us like a rapier at the smell of a bonfire, the sound of wild ducks flying overhead…
Think Bryan Adams and his brother Walt Whitman (don’t harsh my analogy, I know Adams is Canadian, but his voice and call are distinctly heartland-ish). Check out Germanium as evidence.
We all need a Hanna moment like that, when life seems bigger, better, more alive than we were led to believe, when we (re)discover the beauty that’s still being devised, created, and conducted, and still, surrounded by melancholy.
That’s the way I’ll take my music, and a cocktail, if you’re offering!
The article comes courtesy of Kt Emmerson’s BEDBUGS AND BALLYHOO.
Director: Nick Alfaro
Director of Photography: Amandine Berger
Editor: Nick Alfaro
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