M83 – Midnight City

M83 continues to be my gateway into shoegaze. When I first heard ‘Kim & Jessie’ on triple j back in 2008, I was hooked and the realm of shoegaze/dream pop, genres formerly unbeknownst to me, was favourably laid out before my ears. I haven’t looked back nor outside them since. From Saturdays = Youth I naturally worked my way backwards through M83’s discography and then backwards in time through the genres, experiencing the likes of Cocteau Twins, Slowdive, and My Bloody Valentine.

With the release of ‘Midnight City’, off Monsieur Gonzalez’s forthcoming album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, the shoegaze cycle I have been so completely engrossed in over the last three years seems to be coming full circle, but by no means to an end. Given ‘Midnight City’ and ‘Echoes’ are pretty damn fine indicators of what album #6 will about, then would you, dear reader, agree that we can expect a level of nostalgia throughout? ‘Echoes’ takes me on a transient journey reminiscent of M83’s oeuvre thus far; it sounds like what they’ve always done and so it’s awesome. But ‘Midnight City’ was straight out of possibly the greatest left field I can think of. It’s as if he’s chosen to channel the ’80s roots of shoegaze, but instead of replicating he’s captured the sound and feel of that synth happy time in music history, melding it with his distinct brand of shoegaze and spawning an epic and magnificent sound.

There is no shortage of synth in ‘Midnight City’ and it’s far from overkill. The song rises and falls between soft vocals and intense walls of sound that engross you. The sax solo. Well, just listen and make your own mind up (FFUUUUCCCCKKKKK YES!!). It’s big, a little spacey, awe-inspiring and drips nostalgia with every note. But saying it’s nostalgic is a little vague. This music reminds me of a age since past, like I’ve listened to it in a time before my time began. I won’t say it feels like home, but it does, in a sort of spiritual way. The song and the feeling fills me up, completely and utterly, in a metaphysical sense, like the song is my Manic-Pixie-Dream-Girl, only she doesn’t disappear at the end of the film/song. Possibilities abound when the notes envelope my ears. I should stop before I fall into another world.

When Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming is released, I’ll probably need time off work. When M83 come to Melbourne—fingers crossed for early 2012; fingers uncrossed for a BDO appearance—I’ll need to get time off Life, just so I can take it all in.

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