Song of the Day #1,313: ‘Midnight City’ – M83

Way up at #4 on Village Voice’s year-end poll is a song I’ve never heard by a band I’ve never heard of. In fact, I had to double-check to see whether Midnight City was the song and M83 the band or vice versa.

This is a pretty cool song. It reminds me a lot of the 80s-influenced album that Phoenix put out a couple of years ago (and in fact, M83 front man Anthony Gonzalez turns out to be French just like the Phoenix boys).

Not much happens here, but that nifty little squeal coupled with New Wave synths and a springy bass line really drives the whole song. This would be perfect for a car commercial (again, I’m reminded of Phoenix).

Is it the fourth best song of 2011? God, no. There certainly seems to be a critical bias toward more dance-heavy tracks this year. Maybe that’s true every year… maybe those are the easiest songs around which to build an easy consensus.

Waiting in the car
Waiting for a ride
At night the city grows
Look at the horizon glow

Waiting in the car
Waiting for a ride in the dark
Drinking in the lights
Following the neon signs

Waiting for a word
Looking at the milky skyline
The city is my church
It wraps me in its blinding twilight
Waiting in the car
Waiting for a ride in the dark


8 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,313: ‘Midnight City’ – M83

  1. Dana says:

    It’s a bit too early in the morning for me to deal with that synth riff. The verses fare better at 7AM. Still, there is such an emotional disconnect here, and perhaps that is true of most dance music, that I doubt I would want to hear this even later in the day.

    Since Peg has probably been up for a few hours though, I’m sure she is dancing around the apartment to this, reliving her disco days of the 80’s. Am I right Peg? (Note my subtle way of dragging Peg into a comment as she has been silent from this blog for too long:))

  2. peg says:

    Well here I am, sorry I’ve been absent, but I’m sharing a computer while I’m here and don’t seem to have as much time on the computer as I do at home. Also, I haven’t had too much to say on the recent posts since I’m not up on the songs or style of music presented. That said, I do read your blog regularly, and the only disco I dance to is from Saturday Night Fever. 🙂

  3. Amy says:

    Dana made a ridiculous comment a few months ago that he hates all songs about cities. It’s okay if they’re about specific cities (San Francisco, New York, etc.), but if they’re about a generic city, he hates them. I’m surprised he didn’t latch on to today’s SOTD as another example to support his theory. Daniel says he knows and likes the song, but I’ve never heard it before. And, I can honestly say, I never need to hear it again.

  4. Clay says:

    I’m dying to hear which songs led Dana to the comment about cities. Talking Heads’ ‘Cities’?

  5. Dana says:

    Well, the song that inspired the comment (note I did not agree that it was a “ridiculous” comment) was “This City” by Patrick Stump featuring Lupe Fiasco. Here, judge for yourself:

    Pretty awful, right?

    And, of course, when I was challenged to name other awful generic city songs, I immediately cited “We Built This City on Rock and Roll.” Now, admittedly, after coming up with that one, my well ran dry…but I stand by my opinion!

  6. Clay says:

    I listened to just enough of the Stump song to agree it’s awful (that was about 45 seconds).

    But in terms of the overall suggestion, I’d have to throw out the Talking Heads song, Lauryn Hill’s ‘Every Ghetto Every City,’ Stevie Wonder’s ‘Living in the City’ and Springsteen’s ‘My City of Ruins’ as evidence to the contrary.

  7. Dana says:

    Okay, okay….there may be some good ones out there:)

  8. Amy says:

    which is why the initial comment was “ridiculous.” Deal with it! (and, Clay, thanks for providing the ample evidence I never could to prove him wrong)

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