Days of Thunder
|Days of Thunder|
|Released||July 15, 2014|
|Label||The Midnight Music|
|The Midnight chronology|
No singles from Days of Thunder were released prior to the EP's release, but in 2016 the label Silk Music issued remix singles for the songs WeMoveForward and Days of Thunder. The singles included the original songs and remixes that would later appear on the 2017 remix album The Midnight Remixed.
Background and composition
Tim McEwan and Tyler Lyle met in 2012 at a songwriter's workshop in North Hollywood organized by Katie Donovan, Lyle’s A&R representative at the time. Prior to meeting, McEwan had listened to some of Lyle’s previous work and liked Lyle’s folk sound. They bonded over a mutual love of 80s rock and after initially struggling to define their sound, decided to enter the synthwave genre at the suggestion of McEwan. McEwan had prior exposure to the burgeoning synthwave genre and was inspired by the movie Drive. The first song they wrote as a duo was WeMoveForward, and the same day they also wrote the chorus for Gloria. Over the next two years, they continued writing and recording songs, leading to the release of Days of Thunder.
The EP was not promoted with any singles but still managed to make a modest impact upon release. At the time, the synthwave genre of music was still emerging and had yet to gain significant traction. Days of Thunder was given a positive review on the website DRIVE Radio and caught the attention of several Reddit communities throughout 2014 and 2015. When The Midnight's first album Endless Summer was released in 2016, synthwave and its online communities were much more established, drawing many new listeners to Days of Thunder. Gloria, Days of Thunder, and Los Angeles became popular songs of the genre and continue to be regularly performed by the band at live shows.
Music and lyrics
The primary themes explored by The Midnight on Days of Thunder are escapism, love, isolation, existentialism, and nostalgia, particularly when looked at through the lens of city life.
The EP begins with The Years (prologue), a slow moving tribute to Lyle's wife Anna, whom he met after moving to Los Angeles in the early 2010s. The inclusion of "prologue" in the song title indicates it as being not only a precursor to the other songs on the EP but also establishing the relationship of Lyle and Anna as preceding The Midnight's formation. The main synth riff slowly crescendos as the song progresses to include drums, guitar, and a chanting vocal. The final lyric in the song, "aimless and upward", is a recurring motif in Lyle's solo work and unifies his musical background with the production style of McEwan.
Gloria increases the tempo and octane of the EP with pulsing synth stabs and heavy guitar riffs, with lyrics expressing a near existentialist cry for help. The song leans heavily into the the themes of isolation and escapism, trademarks of the synthwave genre. WeMoveForward has a significantly more progressive house feel and recounts a tale of love discovered at the beach. Proclaiming "we move forward, because we can't go back", the song emphasizes the ideal of living life in the present and taking chances.
Beginning with the sound of a car engine starting, the title track evokes high speed chases from 80s action films with strong synth patterns, loud percussion, and distinctive saxophone riffs, which would become a trademark of The Midnight's sound. Discussing the dark side of love, Days of Thunder also explores the idea of feeling alone in a big city, describing "the ghosts of the boulevard" as "living with lonely hearts". Kick Drums & Red Wine, another synth driven song, explores the ways people search for answers in life by pretending to be something they're not, with the narrator choosing to find relief through authenticity and "kick drums and red wine".
The EP concludes with Los Angeles, an ode to the birthplace of The Midnight written by Lyle upon moving from Los Angeles to New York City. The moderately paced song has a more sparse production compared to the previous songs on the EP, recounting memories shared at various places including the beach, Sunset Boulevard, and the canyons and mountains of Los Angeles. Often regarded as one of The Midnight's signature songs, Los Angeles ties together the EP's themes and the band's mantra of mono no aware with Lyle declaring, "if we live forever let us live forever tonight".
The Days of Thunder
There is a Japanese term: Mono no aware. It means basically, the sad beauty of seeing time pass - the aching awareness of impermanence. These are the days that we will return to one day in the future only in memories. How do we capture them? How could we possibly be able to fully appreciate them in the present? This project is our attempt to put time under glass.
The Midnight is a marriage between a songwriter from the Deep South and a producer from Denmark who both live in Los Angeles. The songs were written in North Hollywood and Santa Monica over two years and represent the first fruit of The Midnight. This is our love song to our city and a testament to the weight these years can hold.
|1.||"The Years (prologue)"||6:08|
|4.||"Days of Thunder"||5:24|
|5.||"Kick Drums & Red Wine"||6:21|
Release history and variants
|July 15, 2014||Standard|
|March 20, 2016||Instrumentals|
The instrumentals were originally uploaded to Soundcloud in June 2015 prior to getting an official release on Bandcamp and streaming services.
|May 7, 2021||Stems|
First vinyl variant. The EP was remastered for this release. Lost & Found is included as a bonus track. Preorders began in June 2018 and were shipped in September.
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- "Days Of Thunder | The Midnight". Bandcamp. August 1, 2016. Archived from the original on April 8, 2022. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
- "The Midnight Remixed | The Midnight". Bandcamp. August 14, 2017. Archived from the original on April 8, 2022. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
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- "The Midnight -- Days of Thunder [Synthwave/Synthpop] (2014) : listentothis". Reddit. August 24, 2014. Archived from the original on August 24, 2014. Retrieved September 11, 2023.
- "The Midnight - It has come to our attention that we,... | Facebook". Facebook. January 31, 2016. Archived from the original on July 25, 2023. Retrieved July 25, 2023.
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