Originally published Oct. 22, 2011 on Intersections.
M83 is a French band that plays some chill, spacey tunes. “Dream-pop” is the best phrase I’ve heard to describe their brand of ’80s-influenced ambient sound. It’s more vibrant than shoegaze, but with less edge than, say, Phoenix, that other French band you’re thinking of. It’s the kind of stuff that colors your daydreams and follows you on your heels when you’re wandering around an old, familiar city. These kids have their heads planted firmly in the clouds and will be glad to take you along.
M83 released Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming today, a massive, sprawling, “epic” (to quote Anthony Gonzalez, their frontman) double album that aims to capture that elusive dreaming feeling. “Midnight City” is their first single off the new album. It was available for free download from the band’s website for a while, but it’s now been taken down in favor of a few remixes.
Check out the band’s video for “Midnight City,” an oddly disturbing four minutes of children with glowing eyes and freaky-deeky powers busting their way out of their orphanage/asylum/mutant academy to steal all the light from the world and turn Gotham into Midnight City. The entire thing is filmed in soft light with liberal use of slo-mo, so it’s basically a well-made video of every weird dream I’ve ever had after watching one of the X-Men movies or an episode of Misfits.