A little-known Swedish synth-pop duo called The Sound Of Arrows released an epic 2011 album called Voyage. It’s probably my favorite representation of this genre, at least within the last decade. Even years later, the Fear of Tigers remix of There Is Still Hope still reduces me to a shaking, sobbing mess in the corner of my room. I mention The Sound of Arrows to frame Korean band The Midnight Romance, whose sound reminds me a lot of that album. So far, their music hasn’t quite hit the same highs, but I think they’re getting there.
August’s Midnight Romance was a catchy synth-pop anthem that fit perfectly alongside the month’s other retro offerings. New single On My Own is more subdued in nature, but carries many of the same charms. It masterfully unveils a cinematic soundscape, building a slow-burn groove over synthwave influences that could merge seamlessly to Voyage‘s tracklist. The instrumental alone has enough resonance to make the track worth it, especially as guitar and additional synth and brought in during the second verse.
On My Own’s chorus isn’t nearly as memorable as Midnight Romance’s, and I don’t think its construction emphasizes the strengths in Minue’s vocals. But, those vocals are pretty effects-heavy anyway, so it’s not too much of a concern. The aesthetic choices only add to the song’s otherworldly appeal – a brand this band is quickly and effectively cultivating. The Midnight Romance’s dreamlike quality is proving to be a nice counterpoint to K-pop’s more in-your-face nature. I’m excited to see where they go from here.