Midnight Canyon emerged from an experimental, no expectations, strictly for fun quarantine collaboration between three well respected Chicago artists.
With everyone's schedules wiped clean due to Covid-19, Danny Chaimson called good friend Packy Lundholm and acclaimed singer-songwriter Pat McKillen and scheduled a bunch of sessions to get together and jam.
The brilliant thing about Midnight Canyon is their ability to blend the old with the new. Taking on trademarks of classic singer-songwriters and roots-infused artists, they make their mark by expertly fashioned arrangements, genuinely tasteful playing, and contemplative heartfelt lyrics.
Their self-titled debut EP, “Midnight Canyon,” contains five live off the floor tracks that the band carefully curated. The likes of the project neatly display the broad canvas on which they illustrate melodically. They know how to blend country, rock, and Americana sounds but isn’t afraid of threading wider musical references through the core sound that they exude in this presentation.
“Where the Ocean Starts,” is the introductory song that allows us to take flight on the sonic voyage that is “Midnight Canyon.” Dazzling us with a profound arrangement that is drizzled in heartfelt emotion, the lush ambiance of 60’s folk music meets modern-day Americana as Midnight Canyon wins us over one genuine note at a time. Telling a tale of chasing dreams amongst love and adaptation, the warm embrace of the lead vocals effortlessly flow in the intricately fashioned composition of the instrumentation, serenading us in the empowering yet delicate composition that is “Where the Ocean Starts.”
“Angels & Devils,” blends traditional Country grooves with more contemporary Pop flavors that balance out this record in a recipe for success. The smooth execution the lead vocals gracefully emit, fit into the progression of this single as we are introduced to a diverse zest that Midnight Canyon has to offer listeners. “I’m tearing down the walls that kept me in,” stands out as the theme as the angel and devil on their shoulders trying to get the best of them. As they strive for greatness through their artistic versatility, you can’t help but to fall hard for each opulent guitar chord strummed as the accompanying tempo led by the drums and rhythm founded by the bass stream together in a victorious coalition.
Swiftly radiating a glistening light as the tone of this record emits a slight pep, “On My Radio,” has us immersed in the works of indie sounds through acoustic roots music. The storytelling in this particular track tells us a tale of longing and despair as you can’t let that significant person go from your life. Everywhere you go, they’re with you as they haunt your memories deeply. Rising to the occasion, the luxurious guitar solo that sits with ease in the midst of this single carry intricate elements that sway from one side of the spectrum to the next as the luxe harmonies take us to the end of this wistful creation.
Coming in fourth on the tracklist, we have “Don’t Leave Me in the Dark.” Instantly submerging us in saccharine harmonies that cascade in a progressive manner, we can’t help but to swoon over the arrangement put forth. With various components gloriously attacking you from all angles, you can’t help but to get lost in the music as each member makes it known that they mean business. Honing in on exquisite musical nods to a more nostalgic sound, Midnight Canyon captures a wandering similar sonic path to early Steely Dan in “Don’t Leave Me in the Dark.”
As we reach the final record on “Midnight Canyon,” we soak in the intricate placement of each record for the full auditory expedition. “Piano in the Dark,” places the finishing touch on this masterpiece perfectly, like a pristine bow. Embodying a slow-burn, this moderately evolving mid-paced record fuels us as the modest portion of alt-country meets indie cool. Sitting in the glory of “Midnight Canyon,” the quintessence built up in the restraint of texturized power, finishes in an exultant well-rounded soundscape that the entire five-track EP has to offer.
Midnight Canyon is deemed a group of traditionalists with their gaze set confidently on what's next to come. From the dynamism that they offer listeners, to all of their influences and inspirations that they carry forth in their creations, the future for Midnight Canyon is shining bright as ever.