As a journalist for the arts, I consume a surfeit of media daily- yet, infrequently do I ever find something that truly piques my curiosity. My appetite for noteworthy fresh sounds is insatiable; hours upon hours are spent delving through underground forums and basement record shops, frantically clawing at anything that reads “New Releases” from dismantled shelves to laptop screens. My voracity knows no bounds as time after time I am left with barely enough sustenance to sustain, let alone appease, my bouts of frenetic, pseudo-rapacious, aural gluttony.
That is, until I stumbled upon Floridian indie-rock quartet Glass House Point’s new album Midnight Appetite.
And with one simple click, my aural thirst was instantaneously quenched.
From the moment my fingers made contact with a play button, my worldview of the genre indie rock was changed. Gone were the traditional tropes and tricks of the trade; overly jangly instrumentation trapped forever in the same key gave way to bright and airy flourishes of soundscapes that even those who do not suffer from synesthesia can place colors to.Perhaps that was the most crucial aspect of the album- its stark tangibility. Brooding riffs are met with tastefully sporadic accentuations of soaring strings that play upon the ears like a breath of fresh air. Coarsely-weaved harmonic thirds of a ghostly variety are met with warm embraces from washes of synthscapes, crafting an emotional depth of oceanic magnitude, which sweep across the body like gentle finger strokes upon skin. Sinfully delicate and hedonistic, Glass House Point picks up where most other indie rock bands fail the most- crafting a tonal and lyrical quality that is both chromatic and grim, all the while brimming with enough substance and sustenance to subsist even Tantalus’ eternal hunger.
Midnight Appetite‘s framework is centered on besotted youthful explorations of love and loss- and how these concepts envelope and intersect with our fleeting time. Subject matters of the transitory are scored by luminous textured soundscapes from melodic trills to billowing synthesizers, complimented by breezy layered croonings, culminating in a breathtaking and infectious musicality that simply cannot be put back down.
Today, we have the immense pleasure of presenting the exclusive track-by-track commentary of Midnight Appetite, penned by lead vocalist and guitarist Dylan Graham. You can find the complete album stream below, courtesy of Spotify. Read on and prepare yourself for a truly decadent display of dynamicism that re-shapes the soundscapes of Indie Rock. Enjoy!
“Think Fast; It’s Gone”
One of the primary themes in this record is “impermanence.” Above all else, “Think Fast; It’s Gone” foreshadows the record’s exploration of loss, new beginnings, and youth. Musically, we made an intentional effort for the song to reflect many of the auditory motifs used in the new record (such as strings and high-energy guitar trills) while also paying homage to our last record, which was very string-based, lyrically driven, and folky.
“Creatures” is a song largely about youth and new beginnings. It poses questions about love, loss, and belonging. The song is just quite simply honest. The approach with this song was to really reflect our record as a whole. Everything from the lead riff, to the lyrics, to the massive ending is a great reflection of our band in its most raw and straight-forward form, whereas the rest of our record is a bit more cryptic. The feel of this song is really close to how we play live as well.
“Skin & Bones”
This track is one of our favorites. The song wrote itself the morning after a really tough breakup, and it was the first song on the record that began taking form. It explores elements of selfishness that are often tied up with notions of love. Group vocalizations, chants, and yells layer the song in many places, which is a new element for us. The song ends with yet another epic vocal melody accompanied with driving drums and really thick synthscapes. Sections like this are really our bread and butter.
This is song is named after a place in our hometown in Lakeland, FL. A place where you… you know… where you take your significant other to get it on. Lyrically, I think this song takes a really different approach in its tone regarding sex. It doesn’t try too hard to prove anything or benefit off of a over-popularized theme; it just simply conveys honesty and reflects past events from a future perspective. When writing the musical arrangements, we always found ourselves saying “the song needs to sounds like memories.” Capturing that feeling was difficult and obscure. We went through many different versions of the song before settling on a final arrangement. It took about 4 months of tweaks and performances before we got it right.
The title and choruses of this song reflect feelings of exhaustion and depression, but “Washed Out,” goes far beyond that. It raises questions about humanity’s potential for both empathy and apathy. The song also reflects a search for “a light at the end of the tunnel,” particularly during the bridge. We typically end with this song when we play live, and it gets pretty emotional. Most of the writing for this song took place about a year and a half ago when we had a fulltime violin player in our ranks. The song wouldn’t have felt right without the strings, so we decided to push ourselves as composers and write arrangements for a string ensemble. Bringing in a string section really filled in the emptiness that we previously felt throughout the song.
As the last song on the record, “Polaris” attempts to tie up a lot of the lyrical and musical complexities that we touched on in the previous tracks. Out of the all of the songs, this one has the most lyrical volume — the most words and expressed ideas. The whole idea of this song is that distress often breeds art and that art, ironically, has the power to cure distress. It’s an almost contradictory idea, yet it is profound nonetheless. Despite this notion, the song does not suggest that the narrator is approaching a state of acceptance and healing. Instead, it foreshadows an eventual recovery with a quite resentful tone. From the production side of the song, we experimented with synths more than we ever had before. At some points, synth layers run about 8 layers deep in “Polaris”. It was really challenging to dial in the perfect intricacies in the synthscapes, but we discovered a lot about ourselves as composers through the process.