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“Midnight” by Coldplay

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song info

    “Midnight” by Coldplay (official video) is an ambient electronic song.

    Song Title: Midnight (official video)
    Artist: Coldplay
    Album: Ghost Stories
    Genre: alternative, electronic, ambient
    Composer: Copyright © 2013 uy Berryman Jonny, Buckland, Will Champion, Chris Martin
    Vocals: Chris Martin
    Keyboards: Jonny Buckland
    Reactable: Will Champion
    Laser harp: Guy Berryman
    Percussion: Will Champion
    Director: Mary Wigmore
    Producer: Coldplay, Paul Epworth, Daniel Green, Rik Simpson, Jon Hopkins
    Recorded: 2013, The Bakery and The Beehive, London, England
    Released: 17 April 2014
    Label: Parlophone, EMI
    Number of listens: 1815

link to the static song information page for this song:
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    Summary quotation from Wikipedia:

    “Midnight” is a song recorded by British alternative rock band Coldplay for their sixth studio album, Ghost Stories (2014). It was written and produced by band members Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion, Chris Martin, with production assistance from Paul Epworth, Daniel Green, and Rik Simpson, and co-production from Jon Hopkins. A music video for the Ghost Stories track was released on 25 February 2014 as a teaser for the then-unannounced sixth studio album. A “Midnight” 7-inch vinyl single was pressed by Parlophone for Record Store Day 2014. The single, featuring the track on a single side of the record, was released on 17 April 2014, becoming the second release by the band in promotion of Ghost Stories.

Composition

    “Midnight” was built over a previously unreleased original track produced by Jon Hopkins in 2003. The track, named “The Fourth State II”, was never completed by Hopkins and was partly released by ambient/electronic music blog A Strangely Isolated Place on SoundCloud in early 2012, as part of their playlist “ASIP - 1.00.00”. The song also incorporates elements from a Jon Hopkins recording titled by Hopkins as “The Fourth State II”, a reproduction of his 2008 extended play The Fourth Estate.

Recording

    The song was recorded by the band during sessions for their sixth studio album in 2013, at their purpose-built studios The Bakery and The Beehive in North London, England, both originally constructed for work on their two previous studio albums, 2008’s Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends and 2011’s Mylo Xyloto respectively. Chris Martin’s recorded vocals for the song were put through a vocoder. The intro track was created using a laser harp and a loop station, as visible in their most recent iTunes Festival show.

Reception

    The song received mostly positive reviews from critics, who noted a change in the sound of the band and drew comparisons to Bon Iver and Justin Vernon. Al Horner of NME approved of the band’s new musical direction and lauded the song as a “dive into icy electronic experimentalism”. Contactmusic.com’s Lauren James similiary praised the song, writing: “gone are the crashing pianos, guitar and soaring vocals of the Brit rockers’ more famous ballads, replaced with a pared back, minimalist electronic song”. Micahel Nelson of Stereogum concurred, commenting that the song brought out Coldplay “at their most spacious and ambient, stripped down to a ghostly essence.” Writing for PopMatters, Evan Sawdey rated the song 8/10 and summarized it as “chilly, this moody, and evocative”. Rolling Stone’s Cory Grow compared Martin’s vocals to Peter Gabriel “as he sings about darkness, while the synths build throughout the track before a skittery, rave-like keyboard line flits about noisy static”. Idolator’s Carl Williot described the song as “a haunting electronic soundscape that not only lacks the band’s trademark anthemic choruses and stadium-filling guitar lines, but boasts nary a hook and has few decipherable lyrics”. Lewis Corner of Digital Spy opined that the song was “subdued, murky, twinkling, but definitely not lead single material on first listen” and hailed the band for “never fail[ing] to shake up their sound and become even more successful with it.” Jamieson Cox of Time magazine felt the song “never blossoms into one of Coldplay’s trademark climaxes, instead blurring into a phosphene cloud of synth melodies” but praised it for being “another step in a new direction for a band that’s never been content with staying in place”.

Live performances

    “Midnight” was first performed live by Coldplay on the opening night of the 2014 iTunes Festival at SXSW on 12 March 2014 at the Moody Theater in Austin, Texas. It was performed as the only song during the encore segment of the setlist. Bassist Guy Berryman played the laser harp and Will Champion a Reactable.

Music video

    The music video for “Midnight” was noted for its use of night vision filters.

    A 5-minute music video for “Midnight”, directed by Mary Wigmore, was premiered on music video hosting service Vevo at 6pm UTC (Midnight in Ulan Bator, Mongolia time), on 25 February 2014. The video was shot nearly in its entirety in thermal infrared imaging and negative imagery, incorporating various visual effects. The thermal infrared camera was a FLIR SC8303 with either a 25 or a 50mm prime lens, depending on the shot. The lenses were made by Janos Corporation. The wavelength range is 3 to 5 microns, or mid wave infrared. The thermal infrared video was recorded as HD-SDI on an Atomos Samurai Blade with a 480 GB solid state hard drive. Simultaneously, raw digital video was captured at 30 frames per second into FLIR ExaminIR software. The video was watched over 1 million times in less than 24 hours after it was posted on their Facebook page. Just two days later it reached 3 million views, later passing 13 million views on 21 April 2014.

Giorgio Moroder remix

    A remix of “Midnight” by Italian dance music producer Giorgio Moroder was released by Parlophone on 21 April 2014 as a digital download single.

Critical reception

    The remix version of the song has received positive reviews from music critics. Kory Grow of the Rolling Stone magazine wrote that Moroder turned an understated EDM track into a “dance floor banger” and “eight-minute affair with no time squandered”: “One of Coldplay’s most unassuming tracks off their forthcoming record Ghost Stories is now its most danceable.” He also commented that the producer “adds a pounding bass-drum beat from the onset and then uses the synth filigrees toward the end of the track … to build it into something that would have once backed Summer. Vocal ‘aahs’ and soft pads of synths, alongside robotic chanting in French, make the track more Moroder than Martin for the final four minutes.”

    Mikael Wood of The Los Angeles Times wrote in similar tone, “The producer’s lengthy reworking, which climaxes in a surging synth fantasia complete with robot voices, adds some verve to Coldplay’s rather sedate original.” Tom Breihan of Stereogum noted that while the remix “might not have the same spacey majesty as peak Moroder, it still does a nice job translating the inward sweep of the original track into an orchestral disco pulse.”

    According to Ryan Kristobak of The Huffington Post, Moroder transformed “Midnight” into “a dance-floor hit, without abandoning the song’s Brian Eno/Bon Iver-influenced ambience.” Idolator’s Robbie Daw commented, “Here Moroder lays a hypnotic click-click-click disco beat below the Kid A-esque atmosphere of the track, and the whole thing eventually builds into a tornado of majestic synths and menacing piano chords. And, of course, no modern day remix by Giorgio Moroder would be complete without the addition of his own ghostly robot vocals.”

—from Wikipedia (the Wikipedia:Text of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License applies to Wikipedia’s block of text and possible accompanying picture, along with any alterations, transformations, and/or building upon Wikipedia’s original text that ThisSideofSanity.com applied to this block of text)

 
     

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