The synthwave band's soaring soundscapes will make you want to party like it's 1985.

The Midnight Are the Stranger Things of Music

The Midnight have a motto: mono no aware, which roughly translates to “the aching awareness of impermanence.” At first blush, that might sound a little pretentious.1 But listen to the synthwave band’s music—or, better yet, watch one of their videos—and you’ll understand how perfectly that phrase encapsulates their vibe.

The Los Angeles-based duo is the musical equivalent of Stranger Things: their songs are nostalgia inducing, sure—evoking the smooth, sultry, enveloping soundscapes of the ‘80s—but they manage to feel thoroughly modern, more a brilliant homage than a boring remake. With their latest album Kids now streaming, we caught up with producer Tim McEwan and vocalist Tyler Lyle to discuss their musical evolution, viral YouTube success, and what it means to be at the heart of an ever-growing genre.

Photo: David Everly

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1. Or, at least, like an oddly deployed Mad Men reference.