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Midnight North will release their second album, Under The Lights. Recorded by David Simon-Baker (Los Lobos, ALO, Jackie Greene, Mother Hips), the album is both a reverence of the collective musical canon of the past, and an offering of styles totally fresh and new, created by a band that is paving the way ahead for the future of Americana music. Above all, it’s superb collection of new material from this four-piece group, who are also hitting the road this summer to tour in support.
The album takes off at a sprint, with the title track “Under The Lights,” a real road song that starts things off on a modern country feel. Then come just about one of the best songs coming out today, “Playing a Poor Hand Well.” A little soulful, a little folky, a little danceable, and a beautiful blending of all the instruments in the band’s arsenal on this record: organ, with some great horn interplay. And, on top of it all, crooned passionately by singer Elliott Peck.
In fact, the whole record benefits from the beauty of multiple stellar voices, and the album is split on vocal lead duty track for between members Peck and lead guitar player, Grahame Lesh. Whereas Peck’s voice is husky but also sparkling at the peaks, Lesh’s is just as satisfying in his grittier style, and on tracks like “Back to California,” it cracks with exasperated emotion. Of course, to be found everywhere on the record is the expert level background harmonies that seem to just fit with any kind of song.