Los Angeles-based alternative rock band Midnight Divide’s recently released second EP Dichotomy is one of the summer’s best new records. It's cathartic, hard-driving and introspective in a way that never feels ponderous. Its four songs create a musical experience that feels equally appropriate for order at the gym or the aftermath of the bad breakup.
Although the band has some pretty clear musical influences, Dichotomy never feel like a pastiche. The records hip-hop inspired production calls to mind the work of Bloc Party. Dan Beltran’s frenzied guitar playing is reminiscent of TV on the Radio circa Return to Cookie Mountain. And lead singer Austen Moret’s booming vocal is very similar to Dan Reynolds’ iconic baritone. But, taken together, those different elements sound like nothing else the contemporary alt-rock landscape.
“Animals Eyes” is the kind of angry spurred lover’s jam that perfectly captures the heady mixture of resentment and regret that follows the end of the bad relationship. “Fireline” harrowingly details the kind of heartbreak I can leave a person utterly devastated. “Talking,” tells a poignant story about a man trying to talk his way out of a painful inevitability. And “Ketamine” is an exhilarating ode to the bleak joys of being in a self-destructive love affair. The band deserves a lot of credit for bringing together so many vibrant emotional textures in one EP.
Given how compelling and unique Dichotomy is, it’ll very interesting to see what Midnight Divide does with their next full-length release.
Dichotomy can be purchased here.