The Midnight Hollow’s songs tend to build, born from electronic whispers. Soon, a beat brimming with bottled-up energy comes in, then vocalist Spencer Draeger joins with a crystal clear and brooding baritone. Eventually, after toying with tension, a sort of catharsis is reached when Draeger unleashes a powerful wail shot through with desperate honesty.
It’s a formula that allows for a lot of variation, and it’s pretty heady stuff. The Midnight Hollow have crafted a sort of desert/space/prog sound, blending lengthy watery guitar-filled instrumental sections with choruses carried by Draeger and driving drums and bass lines — fitting, given that they describe their “Influences” on Facebook as “Huge sounding drums.” If there is another near constant across songs, it’s that sense of desperation, an urgent need for understanding, and a sense of purpose. A friend described their sound as reminscent of the National, the Cure, and Interpol. Not far off.
Draeger started the Midnight Hollow as a solo project in San Francisco last year when his band of nine years, Mata León, broke up. After a move to New York and “countless jams with jaded musicians,” he recruited drummer Andrew Segreti when the two met in a bar in the East Village. The rest of the lineup fell into place soon after. They’re currently at work on an EP to be released later this year.
The band’s played just a handful of shows, and I was lucky enough to catch the first back in early August. You would have thought they had been playing for years, given how polished they were live. As good as the four songs available on their SoundCloud are, when performed live they blow the recorded versions away. (They’re playing next Glasslands in Williamsburg on 11/3.) Check out and download “Her Morning Glow” below.