You can quickly recognise Midnight Parade as a European release: for the pretty “standard” style, for the slightly dull expressivity, but also for its melodic exuberance. This is in fact the debut album by a German-Dutch couple, who met at the Academy of Arts in Arnhem, the Netherlands. They produced the album together in Utrecht and, even though the number of components and instruments appearing is pretty low, it immediately conveys the feeling of a much more collective effort. By itself, this proves the work and time that was spent on this album.
Midnight Parade is based on a very simple sound layering, composed by small licks and arpeggios, but also by blinding variations. The songwriting is very emotional, probably closer to other genres than to dream-pop, which is just hinted at, here and there – for example in the single ‘Where The Wild Things Are’ (a quote from the famous kids book by Maurice Sendak), but in its chorus, with its Kate Bush flourishes, the true nature of The Day emerges.
In this “post-rock” ambience (the couple seems to have a fascination for bands like Explosions In The Sky) there are 90s indie-rock tracks like ‘Exit Sign’, or even new new wave pieces like ‘We Killed Our Hearts’. In ‘Berlin’ the fusion with post-rock becomes more directly fruitful, inspiring an enthralling progression.
This is indeed a “straight-to-the-point” record, something that bands like Beach House are not capable of making anymore. The Day, instead, does not seem to care too much if their music is “in style” and prefer to devote themselves to emotional output and to songwriting.
Words: Lorenzo Righetto