ALBUM REVIEW: Lewis Watson – midnight

Image Source: Cooking Vinyl Australia

Since the end of last year, Lewis Watson has been drip feeding his new acoustic-pop goodness. Last Friday the entirety of midnight was released in one giant wave of watercolour.

Watson’s breed of music is typically inoffensive, and the majority of midnight does nothing to contradict this. The bold electric guitar that opens “maybe we’re home” soon drifts into the background and Watson’s vocals take the lead, whilst percussion decorates the song, fuzzing and bubbling like white horses eating up the beach. Somehow simultaneously more relaxed and more passionate, “little light” is a heartfelt number where once again Watson’s vocals fall in line with the instrumental.

“deep the water” is another innocuous number that won’t so much demand your attention, as politely ask for it. Or perhaps, with its gradual increase in strength and endlessly repeated hooks, it’s fairer to say that it tugs on your sleeve until you give it your attention. “la song” is another which doesn’t do an awful amount to pique your interest, but it’s one worth turning your focus to. The minimalistic style that artists like Andy Shauf perfect shines through here, with a hum of electro-pop to colour the sound.

After four songs that hum like a running river under a layer of ice, “where the water meets the mountains” bursts right through a hot spring. This simplistic guitar track is a charmer, as slick lyrics pair up beautifully with charismatic violin. It’s a cleansing wake up track, your cup of tea in the morning.

“hello hello” is your song for a lazy Sunday afternoon when the sun’s too warm to think clearly, but equally you’ve no obligation to. Easy going, lethargic, repetitive: you’ll either find this deliciously relaxing or infuriatingly simple. Either way, it’s a striking contrast to the previous track, and brings the album back to the grounded, safe sound it began with.

As the album passes its ridge of enthusiasm and begins to settle, “forever” strikes a balance between energy and peace. Though the lyrics fall a little on the simple side, its sound fits perfectly in the vein of the album. “Run” is another to appeal to the Andy Shauf-esque style of sound, overwhelmingly lethargic and gentle. Simple guitar, simple piano, straightforward lyrics; it’s less of a run and more of a slow drift across a heated swimming pool.

Surprisingly vibrant for something so far through an album, “give me life” throws itself around like fistfuls of coloured powder exploding in the wind. A final surge of energy before the album winds down and folds into itself, this is the song that powers you through your Friday afternoon to the weekend.

It’s not a shock that Lucy Rose features on midnight, appearing in penultimate song, “slumber”. Conveniently, this is an ideal track to drift off to, peaceful and introspective. Watson and Rose’s voices intertwine to create an ornamental dreamcatcher of beautiful sound. Title track “(midnight)” closes the album, a personal, storytelling piano song, beautifully raw and nostalgic.

midnight is pleasant and inoffensive at its finest. It’s a laid back celebration of sound, perfect to be enjoyed and unwind to in the shade of a rose bush in spring, with a gin and tonic in hand.

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