After the release of his acclaimed 2014 debut, singer-songwriter Lewis Watson retreated from the limelight to focus his attentions writing and seeking full artistic control over his work. His latest release, Midnight is a sophisticated album filled with indie pop tracks that alternate between the upbeat and the melancholy, depending on how close you listen. Midnight is one of those albums where the lively melodies fool your ear into thinking that the music is inoffensive pop, but when you scratch the surface, there's a maturity and understanding of the human condition that far surpasses anything that's riding up the pop charts.
Maybe We're Home and Deep The Water drive the pace of the album with a glorious indie rock refrains. Hello, Hello glitters with soft lit romance and La Song has echoes of Americana alongside an electronic accompaniment showing Watson's versatility to combine different genre styles to create a rich tapestry of melody.
When The Water Meets The Mountains is a brutal yet breathtaking beautiful track about lasting love to rival any huge hit. The final minutes of the track are expertly pieced to together as our lovers cling onto each other to witness the end of the world, as a quartet play on regardless to the sound of a drum beat signifying the impending disaster. It's heartbreaking but delivered with such a profound sense of understanding about meaningful love that it's a theme that is reinforced later in piano based the title track.
Watson's style is cautious and at times subdued. He may go on to play arenas as the headline act, but his music has the intimacy that is missing from many stadia acts. He has a softness to his music that hasn't really been challenged since Snow Patrol, even though it's delivered on a smaller scale, it's no less tender in its delivery.
There are moments of chart-topping success in these tracks but this is largely an album that steers clear of the often facile nature of the mainstream and concentrates on mature and thoughtful songwriting.
Groupie Rating 4/5