I constantly find myself sitting here wondering what to think of the general population’s take on “Indie” music. For the most part it is believed that Radiohead or The Shins are “indie,” and that alone makes me want to cry. Indie should be more of a sound like Tom Petty fronting The Cure, something pushing the boundaries of mainstream but too unrestrained to drive the major recorded execs crazy, and isn’t signed to one of the major four.
Well, that also just happens to be how Matthew Warn (Saxon Shore) describes his newest project with fellow indie musician Philip Stancil; Midnight Faces.
The duo’s sound isn’t so much an American raspy Rocker/King Of The Hill alum meets mascara and inexplicable videos shot in damp caves as it is a modern pop/rock lingering on electronic semblance with just enough retro vibes to crack a smile.
Midnight Faces is like the lighter airier cousin of Imagine Dragons. They’re deeply layered and easy to slip into. Each track, and I’m not exaggerating, would be just as comfortable as any on national and international radio play; they’re vibrant, rich and easily suck you into their world; all while maintaining a strong independent feel. They are untouched by over-production and the conglomerate mentality. Tracks like “Crowded Halls” and “Now I’m Done” get their hooks in you and don’t let go. Their poppy atmosphere rotates around synth-driven melodies creating penetrating light shows complete with smoke machine and a full dance floor. Fornication is the audible answer to that moment you lock eyes with that person across the room and time seems to slow down. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if any of the ten tracks were to show up in a movie or show sometime soon.
But even if Midnight Faces and their dimly lit dance/electronically based anthem-of-heart-on-their-sleeve style were to be picked up by TV of film, there is a certain unbreakable indie quality about them that I don’t see being broken. Warn and Stancil have experienced a level of success prior to this that they obviously just want to do what they’re going to do. And as for me, doing so is the medicine I need to prevent slipping into a deep depression over what the world considers “Indie.” As for you, if there was ever a moment when you asked yourself “But is it really worth my time?” Midnight Faces is the definitive yes.