Midstates – Shadowing Ghosts

Shadowing Ghosts

Midstates is a five-piece band from Chicago that formed from the death of Novasonic Down Hyperspace. The band notes influence of Pink Floyd on Novasonic Down Hyperspace’s releases, and they still poke through on Shadowing Ghosts. Not the later Pink Floyd that released The Wall, but rather the early Pink Floyd releases like The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and A Saucerful of Secrets. At times their song structure follows definite pop blueprints, and at other times they float off into the world of sound they are creating.
“Lost My Shadow” starts off with a few disheveled sounds on the piano before a train of sounds takes the stage. The synthesizer holds a note in the background, and as it resonates in your ear the keyboard slowly moves up and down. The drums enter into the sound and then cut out two beats before the rest of the music stops and we are introduced to the vocals of Paul Heintz. You have no idea how relieved I was when I heard the vocals. Too many times have I gotten my hopes worked up about a first song, only to be slapped in the face with the vocals that are sprinting in the opposite direction. Thankfully that wasn’t the case here. Heintz vocals sound like Ben Kweller’s voice with Dave Bazaan’s minimal range. The keyboarding of Stephen Munoz is superb on this track as a break between verses. And the whole band has a very unified feel right from the get-go. “Independency” starts off a little slow, but towards the chorus line it adopts a great sound. A small choir of singers – maybe just the other bands members – pitch in to give the chorus strength as they sing “You’ve made your decision now / You wont come back somehow.”
“Don’t Bake Gin” starts off very pop sensible, but the instruments veer off track scattering the sound everywhere, before its falls back into order. “Hits the Blues” is very stripped down compared to the rest of the album’s songs. Sasha Armstrong duos with Heintz on the chorus retouching the sound nicely. “You’re So Far Away” adds a mechanical country twang. It closes with a fury of sound that leads to a dramatic climax then falls into the soft piano of the next track, “Be a Ghost.” It feels like the vocals come in too quickly on this track. I think more recovery time is in order after musical climaxes. This, however, only slightly detracts from the flowing feel of the album. “Coma Turtle” is a very tight instrumental track that epitomizes the fantastic sound of the band and finishes the CD flawlessly.
This is the best new CD I have heard in a while. I hope this band sticks together and releases many more albums.