Release Date: Sep 8, 2017
Record label: Jagjaguwar
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Indie Pop, Chamber Pop
2016's anomalous La La Land succeeded due in large part to its precision in toeing the line between society’s longing for nostalgia and its need for presently relevant art. By conjuring the cinematic magic of a Hollywood now only found in re-viewings of classics such as Singin’ in the Rain, Damien Chazelle truly transported us and displayed the most excellent components of the musical film era. But setting the film in the present with everyday people struggling through everyday issues gave the film the modern relevance that will make the film timeless.
Midnight Sister sound like a lot of things, but the one constant is their swagger. The debut collaboration between singer and lyricist Juliana Giraffe, and classically trained composer Ari Bazoulian is a kaleidoscope of colors pulled off with a beautifully baroque strut. It's experimental art-pop that doesn't forget to entertain along the way. A paean to the weird corners of Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley, there's a good-time feel running across Saturn Over Sunset.
Los Angeles is a land of illusion-the line between sparkling glamour and empty artifice sometimes impossible to decipher. It’s this dichotomy that has influenced the music of mysterious duo Midnight Sister, leading them to create a debut that claws away with long, manicured nails at the cracks in the city’s plastic veneer. Juliana Giraffe and Ari Balouzian both grew up in L.A.—the city’s backlots and plentiful retro diners influencing their music as much as the city’s penchant for dreaming. As heard on their debut LP Saturn Over Sunset, it’s an appealing smoothie of sparkly pop, disco, 60s yé-yé, and hints of weirdo psychedelia that’s whipped up during the more accessible tracks, but something is a bit…off.
The single “Daddy Long Legs” paints the picture of a female who “moves like honey, light and smoke by her car”. Backed by lively drums and almost woolly sounding piano, the track emanates a red glow as if in the haze of a seedy, smoke-filled den, whereas “Shimmy” nods to some sort of trippy, underground disco. The many moments of baroque discord, sudden shifts into dead silence and jarring dissonance adds a playful chaos and unpredictability to Saturn Over Sunset. “Neon” is a thirty second interlude of spacey, stoned guitar, while “The View from Gilligan’s Island” is an unsettling fusion of percussive clicks and urgent strings.