Midwife – “Christina’s World”
Midwife became a favorite in this website’s comments section with last year’s Forever. The album found Denver musician Madeline Johnston forging a ghostly form of lo-fi shoegaze she calls “heaven metal,” whispering emotive incantations under a gorgeous blur of guitar noise. She’s kept releasing music since then, including a lengthy ambient project called I-L under her Mercury Tracer guise. But last week she announced her first Midwife full-length since Forever, and now she has revealed its first single.
The new album is called Luminol. It’s the result of Johnston re-focusing on recording in her new home base of San Miguel, New Mexico when her 2020 tour plans were scrapped due to COVID-19. It features contributions from three members of DIIV (Zachary Cole Smith, Ben Newman, and Colin Caulfield) as well as Tucker Theodore, Vyva Melinkolya’s Angel Diaz, and Have A Nice Life’s Dan Barrett. The album’s themes reportedly include “incarceration, locus of control, clarity, self harm, confinement, agency, and truth-seeking,” and song titles like “God Is A Cop” and “Promise Ring” evoke fascinating perspectives on those subjects.
Here’s a key paragraph from the album’s official bio:
Luminol is a chemical used by forensic investigators to reveal trace amounts of blood left at a crime scene. When it reacts with blood, luminol emits a chemiluminescent blue glow that can be seen in a darkened room. In the same way this chemical reveals evidence at a scene, Midwife is interested in profound truth — turning trial and tribulation into sources of light.
The first single from Luminol is the album’s closing track, “Christina’s World.” It’s even more spectral than your average Midwife song, slowly and gorgeously building to Johnston’s searching refrain, “Show me the way.” Listen below.
01 “God Is A Cop”
05 “Promise Ring”
06 “Christina’s World”
Luminol is out 7/16 on The Flenser. Pre-order it here.