I had the pleasure of seeing Los Angeles trio Midnight Cities last year during a cosmic whirlwind and existential crisis of a West Coast holiday. Midnight Cities features Simon Cardoza on guitar, piano and vocals; Martin Avelar on bass and Nick Roumeliotis on drums. They’ve just released their debut Ignite EP, on which they can be found bolting straight out of the gate on the powerful opener, “Collide.” On “Slow Down Girl,” the first single, the frenetic, driving pace continues. Things go off the rails a bit, musically and lyrically, on the last two tracks, “Meds” (with the delightfully off-balance refrain “TAKE YOUR MEEDDDDS! TAKE YOUR MEEDDDDS!”) and “Losing All My Friends,” which is first infused with sadness and then neurosis (“I’m only alone… in my mind”). In the midst of the emotional maelstrom is a dreamy and rather romantic interlude, due in no so part to Simon Cardoza’s passionate vocals. As unsettling as the other tracks are, “Soon We’ll All Be Shown” and “So Far” are quite pretty and peaceful. The latter also features lovely piano at the start and some luxuriously free-flowing lead guitar toward the end. Personal favorites: “So Far” and “Losing All My Friends.”
The EP was produced by Simon and Sean Tallman (Lilly Allen, Miley Cyrus, Ne-Yo, Deftones, Outcast, Gwen Stefani and Kelly Clarkson – that’s quite a combo). The video for “Slow Down Girl” features actress Megan Duffy. They’ll be releasing more videos soon, and are already working on another EP, Starlight, which is due out early next year.