• Singled Out
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M83 Creates a Sprawling Metropolis in ‘Midnight City’

written by: on October 4, 2011

Anthony Gonzalez is a dreamer in every sense of the word. Appreciated for his work under the celestial-centered moniker, M83, the French transplant has been crafting airy pop tunes and creating electronic soundscapes for a little more than a decade since his arrival on U.S. soil. Despite his ceaseless exploration—both for his inner persona and for a multi-instrumentalist for M83’s approaching world tour—it seems a majority of Gonzalez’s musical efforts boil down to the upcoming release of his epic double LP, Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, which drops Oct. 18 on Mute.

“I think it is a reflection of my 30 years of being a human being. It’s a compilation of all my previous music together. It’s a retrospective of myself,” Gonzalez said, via Mute’s website.

Culled as the first single from M83’s forthcoming dual album, “Midnight City” lends itself to breezy, spiraling synths and softhearted vocals that echo under a reflective, pop-worthy landscape. While the synths soar high on adrenaline, Gonzalez’s vocals take a fragile back seat as they bleed among a serene backdrop. Such a steady combination of sounds and words largely defy M83’s shoegaze method and work in favor to highlight Gonzalez’s development as an artist.

Gonzalez employs simple lyrics throughout the four-minute feat, however, the depth and overarching meaning of his words transcend “Midnight City,” beyond dark heavens and milky skylines, enabling the listener to muse over personal dreams and desires much like they would after waking from a revealing night’s sleep.

Gonzalez whispers, “Waiting in a car, waiting for a ride in the dark,” several times over. Although such repetition tends to dilute a single song, the familiarity of lingering emotions certainly resonate within everybody. Minutes seem to stretch for hours as the inner working gadgets refuse to navigate a clock’s surface. Sitting, wishing, waiting. We’ve all been there.

Regardless of its initial sense of yearning and impatience, Gonzalez takes hold of those aimless thoughts when he colors “Midnight City” with jazzy hues and cries, “The city is my church.” In a climatic layering effect, the single plunges into a powerful trumpet solo, demonstrating early and future influences of Gonzalez’s exceptional sound. “Midnight City” experiments with fresh ideas, yet still maintains a vibrant and cohesive output. As a whole, the single sheds light on M83’s journey and gives excited listeners a taste of what’s to come.

  • Oriianthi Kaijxio, a band kid.