Secrets of Synth: ‘Collateral’ by The Midnight


By Jack

Synthwave is a nostalgic, largely instrumental genre of electronic music. We provided a three-part guide to synthwave here. In a new weekly series, we look at songs that have defined the genre and interview the creators behind them.

The Midnight are a synth duo from LA. Their album Endless Summer is one of the most popular synthwave LPs. A follow up, Nocturnal was released earlier this month.

Premised around a car driving through the city as night, rain drumming on the roof throughout, Nocturnal has a strong sense of place and feeling. Humming synth melodies, screeching guitar and beautiful sax produce a shiny and inviting sound, and ‘Collateral’ in particular is gorgeous.

We caught up with Tim McEwan to chat about ‘Collateral’ and their unique sax-inflected synth style.

1. How did you get into synth music?

“Me (Tim McEwan) and Tyler Lyle met in 2012. The Midnight is our playground where we get to do whatever we like. I bring the whole 80s aesthetic to Tyler’s songwriting.”

2. How did you come to write ‘Collateral’?

“‘Collateral’ is a track I just came up with this summer. It’s inspired by the danger and romanticism of The Terminator and Michael Mann movies (hence the title). It’s a sort of spiritual successor to our song ‘Crockett’s Revenge’ off our previous album Endless Summer.”

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3. Is Nocturnal a series of different scenes or one long narrative?

“Yes I would definitely say it’s one long narrative.”

4. Was Glenn Frey’s ‘You Belong To The City’ an influence? 

“Astute observation! The ‘River of Darkness’ title is exactly a reference to ‘You Belong To The City’.”

5. If ‘Collateral’ or Nocturnal as a whole could be the soundtrack to any 80s movie or TV show, which one would it be?

“James Cameron’s The Terminator from 1984.”

Read the last Secrets of Synth with The Euro Theatre.



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