Skip to main content

Amidst the ongoing global health crisis, it's easy to become overwhelmed with fear, anger, and anxiety. Sometimes, in an effort to combat the constant barrage of stressors, it helps to close your eyes, take a deep breath, and think back to the carefree days of being a teenager. Many may remember those long nights sitting in front of your family's only computer, chatting away with friends worried about nothing more than math homework and how to beat your pals at Street Fighter II.

It's easy to look back at those days and laugh at how our teenage problems paled in comparison to those of adulthood, but by doing so, we forget the moments that helped to shape who we are today. While a friend moving to a different city might seem nothing more than a minor bummer to us now, the scope of our world was much smaller when we were younger due to a certain naiveté, and similar occurrences related to growing up packed a significant emotional punch.

The Midnight channeled that bittersweet, youthful nostalgia on their new album, Monsters. Describing adolescence as "messy, tragic, brutal, wistful, and beautiful," the retrowave duo tells a tale of growing up and appreciating life in a constant state of flux.

There is a Japanese term: Mono no aware. It means basically, the sad beauty of seeing time pass—the aching awareness of impermanence. These are the days that we will return to one day in the future only in memories.

As poignant as it is uplifting, the duo once again hit the mark on their latest body of work. Rather than a collection of random singles, the album's fifteen tracks blend seamlessly into each other as the story progresses. Opening with the sounds of booting up a desktop computer and connecting to dial-up, the setting of the album is immediately realized. Beginning with the appropriately-named "America Online," the largely-instrumental song uses retro talk-box vocals to describe romance in the early days of the digital world. 

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles


Skrillex, Porter Robinson, More Confirmed for Elements Music & Arts Festival 2023

Over 100 artists will perform across 10 stages at the Pennsylvania festival in 2023.

Illenium at EDC Vegas 2022 - brphotoco

Here's the Star-Studded Tracklist of ILLENIUM's 5th Studio Album

ILLENIUM's self-titled album will feature Avril Lavigne, All Time Low and Travis Barker, among others.

Creamfields UK North 2022- LorenzoTNC

Eric Prydz, Swedish House Mafia, Calvin Harris, More to Headline Creamfields South 2023

The iconic dance music festival is returning to Hylands Park in Chelmsford from May 26-28.

Following the opening track is the fan-favorite "Dance with Somebody." Shifting gears from the digital themes of the preceding melodies, the upbeat, saxophone-laced tune speaks to the kid in need of a homecoming date as well as the twenty-something living alone in the city. Continued on tracks like "Seventeen" and "Prom Night," the motif of the lyrics highlights the uncertainty of dating when you're unsure what life has in store for you next.

Unlike some of the other offerings from The Midnight, Monsters is more suited for a long, introspective, nighttime drive than a packed house party. The atmospheric sound created from the throwback synthesizer, drums, and saxophone helps their 80s, neon-soaked aesthetic transcend from cool album art to a visceral state of mind. Instrumental tracks "The Search for Ecco" and "Helvetica" provide the perfect soundtrack to focus on an intense creative session or even some gaming.

The most impressive part of Monsters is how The Midnight are able to tell a story about adolescent life that is both immensely nostalgic and surprisingly relatable, highlighting hidden parallels in the two stages of life. The best example lies in "Deep Blue," where vocalist Tyler Lyle's lyrics could be about one's first love or focused on the love one finds later in life that seems only possible in the movies. It's also worth noting for fans of brass that, alongside its thought-provoking vocals, the track features some of their best saxophone work to date.

Monsters by The Midnight is out now on Counter Records. In addition to the album release, the band has created a playlist generator in its honor that lets users enter the month and year of their prom in order to see what songs dominated the nation's school dances at that time. You can see what songs made it on your list here.





The Midnight on Seminal Album "Monsters" and the Volcanic Potential of Synthwave Culture [Interview]

"Synthwave is not especially new, but I am interested in being able to have it tell its own story from its own symbols and its own sense of time and place."


The Midnight and Magik*Magik Orchestra Release Orchestral Remake of "Endless Summer"

"The Rearview Mirror" gives new life to five fan-favorite tracks from The Midnight's 2016 debut album.


The Midnight Announce Upcoming Orchestral Version of Debut Album, "Endless Summer"

The famed synthwave duo have teamed up with Magik*Magik to reimagine their 2016 debut album, "Endless Summer."


The Midnight Conjure Synthwave Magic on Halloween-Themed EP "Horror Show"

The leading synthwave duo surprised fans with the release of an Amazon Music exclusive two weeks before Halloween.

The Midnight

The Midnight Drop Glam Metal Single "Change Your Heart or Die," Announce New Tour

The 17-city tour will take the duo and their supporting act, Nightly, across the U.S. this fall.


The Midnight Announce 2022 North American Tour

In addition to the tour announcement, the synthwave duo released a new music video for their track "Fire in the Sky."


The Midnight Re-Release Halloween EP, "Horror Show" on Spotify, Apple Music, and More

The former Amazon Music Exclusive EP is out now on most major streaming platforms.

the midnight

The Midnight Reveal New 13-Track Album, "Heroes"

Celebrated for their unique blend of retrowave and rock music, the pathfinding duo have announced the final album of a trilogy.