As a kid I remember on Friday nights I’d stay up late and turn the radio dial to 95.3 out of Niles, MI. It never came in any other time of the week, but for some reason the skies cleared and the analog ghosts blessed the air waves on Friday nights. I’d listen to Metal Shop, a syndicated rock and roll radio show where they’d interview artists and play the newest tracks from the likes of 80s metal wizards and dudes in spandex. I don’t get Sunset Strip vibes when I listen to Treebones Midnight Radio, but I get that feeling of lying on the floor in my parents living room at 12:15am and listening to these distant conversations thru tinny boom box speakers. Connecting to something beyond me. Midnight Radio is connecting to the other side, and that’s exciting.
There’s a haunted quality to the music of North Carolina-based electronic artist Treebones(aka Leif Murray Fox), like coming across a dilapidated calliope in the middle of a forest. As you pass by it heaves to life playing a long lost melody that’s both comforting and terrifying. Though Treebones isn’t frightening, the music is ethereal and dreamy. Subtle beats like Boards of Canada, but the melodies are brighter. More uplifting, in a doomed romantic sort of way. There’s a bit of downtempo, a touch of darkwave, and some glitchy goodness thrown in for good measure.
Treebones is now releasing the debut EP Midnight Radio. It keeps good on the promise of single “Introverted Dreamer” released back in January. Each track is a carefully measured drop of hi fidelity psychedelic electronic, bringing to mind strange dreams and late night hallucinations. Melodies percolate to the surface from deep bass and fuzzy electronics, making Midnight Radio truly feel like signals arriving over late night radio waves.
“Neon Mirror Road” opens Midnight Radio with downtempo vibes. It’s all ambient textures and melancholy sway. It’s old school and new school coming together beautifully. Single and title track “Midnight Radio” is just an all out beautiful track, full of wonder and a sort of low key optimism despite its nighttime drive vibes. It seems to have everything; driving beat, deep bass, and a sort of “lose yourself in the moment” hedonism, but in the best way possible. “Empty Streets” puts me in mind of some lost early 80s soundtrack. All hard grooves and sinister bass, with moments of pure melodic grandeur.
Elsewhere the 6-minute “Heavy Stars” has an almost dream pop sensibility, like a music box version of Cocteau Twins. The wobbly synths give the track a spectral glow, bringing some of those Fright Night Club vibes to the proceedings. And with first single “Introverted Dreamer” as the closer Midnight Radio goes off the air, bidding us a fond adieu from the other side.
Treebones is such a unique electronic project, buzzing our brains with both ominous and endearing melodies. Midnight Radio is the soundtrack to somewhere between conscious and subconscious. A score to a play of light that hovers over a darkened trail. It’s the whisper you can barely make out as the chemicals kick in, when you thought you were alone. Not scared, but intrigued.
8.0 out of 10
Treebones’ Midnight Radio is available now via Outpost 31 Studios. Pick it up here.