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Track-by-Track: The Midnight Revival Mull Over Their Self-Titled Album

Alternative-country stars The Midnight Revival join us for a track-by-track rundown of their debut self-titled album.

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The Midnight Revival, photo courtesy of The Midnight Revival
The Midnight Revival, photo courtesy of The Midnight Revival

Even if you’ve never been to the countryside, The Midnight Revival will make you feel like you’ve visited many times. If you get a load of their self-titled debut album, you’ll begin to understand what we’re talking about. The first single, “Feels So Good,” doles out plenty of feel-good country vibes, conjuring up thoughts of artists that carefully towed that line between rock and country like Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Eagles, and Creedence Clearwater Revival. What all of those artists have in common is the ability to give you a taste of what Southern life is all about. The Midnight Revival can accomplish that, too, while not overdoing it with the honky-tonk.

Featuring eleven tracks, The Midnight Revival is the band’s attempt to tap into the storied history of Americana music. They successfully tap into that culture while still maintaining a modern sound. The songs were all written by singer Adam Sizemore and guitarist Chris Bragg. They are presented as a collection of stories of different times in their lives. There are more nostalgic songs that look back to childhood. But there are also tracks about being an adult and dealing with the problems of an adult, like divorce and failing relationships. There’s also a hyperfocus on musicianship with the album presenting like how records did 50 years ago.

Chris Bragg and Adam Sizemore of The Midnight Revival join us today for an exclusive track-by-track rundown of the stories and the background behind each song on the new album.

1. “Runaway”

“This was written about losing loved ones to cancer. The band as a whole has dealt with more than our fair share of cancer. With two current members of the band currently fighting and in remission and the other members losing fathers, grandparents, uncles, cousins, and friends. This song carries a lot of weight for us. It’s about seeing those people again doing our favourite things. Memories of the simple things that you miss when people pass.”

2. “Feels So Good”

“There are enough people in the world telling you what not to do. This is a song about doing what feels good. This was one of those songs that just kind of wrote itself. It just came out one day while me and Adam were jamming and was written in a couple of hours.”

3. “This Heart”

“This song is about the loss of a love and the difficulty of bringing down your guard to love again after you’ve been hurt. But, it’s also about the tenacity in us all that makes us willing to look fear in the eyes and say ‘do your worst.’”

The Midnight Revival ‘The Midnight Revival’ album artwork

The Midnight Revival ‘The Midnight Revival’ album artwork

4. “Say Goodbye”

“This is about the aftermath of loss and missed opportunities. The grief you feel when business is left unfinished and things left unsaid. It’s all about the ‘well, now what’ phase of life.”

5. “New Orleans”

“A cautionary tale of following your gut and your dreams. It also illustrates the baggage you bring with you and the baggage you pick up when you arrive. We all have demons that we’re trying to outrun. This was another tune that we built a choir arrangement that we are really happy with.”

6. “Hanging On”

“Chris and I had a phone conversation the day of the Nashville school shooting. We spoke as fathers and the fear and anxiety of raising kids in this day and age. The string arrangements and vocal arrangements give the song its signature haunting presence.”

7. “Someone’s Gonna Cry”

“This was so much fun to record all of the vocal parts and to build the choir. We can’t wait to perform this with a live choir. Although it’s a little long, we still think it’s radio-worthy. Give it a listen. We really wanted to catch the ‘taking it to church’ vibe and I think we pulled it off.”

8. “Somewhere in Between”

“We really wanted to grab that ’70s and early ’80s texture. Session guitarist Mike Sherry did a great job of helping create that vibe. Chris Bragg and Zach Kasik killed the production on this one.”

9. “Third Degree”

“This was a fun one to record and also we had a great time performing it. The blues feel gives our set a nice little change of pace. This is one that we considered as a single but also felt that it needed to be free to be what it is. It turned out that even though we felt artistically satisfied with the way it turned out, it still proved a little too long for a release as a single. Hopefully, people enjoy it as much as we do when they discover it on the record.”

10. “Roll The Dice”

“Sometimes you got to just go for it. Say fuck it. Take a chance and ‘Roll The Dice.’ It’s the anthem of uncertainty! Zach Kasik and I worked on an earlier version of this at Wild Feather Recordings in Nashville and decided to go full Skynyrd. We wanted to definitely have some fun with its Southern rock character. That character has remained true even in its final version.”

11. “Hurt Every Time”

“This is about letting yourself feel the pain of grief and moving on from it because ‘it doesn’t have to hurt every time.’ One of our favourite tunes on the record that features Eric Bickerstaffe on the banjo.”

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