Just when you thought there couldn’t be any more bands to talk about, The Midnight Romance comes crashing in with a familiar face as the front man of the band. Minue was the ex-drummer of popular rock band Trax, and now he has debuted with a new band under his company, MJ Dreamsys Entertainment.
All the K-bands I’ve come across so far have brought something new to the table, and they’ve established what kind of sound they are most comfortable with, but also show versatility by trying their hand at different genres. The Midnight Romance is no different, setting the foundation of their sound in their self-titled track (technically it’s titled “Midnight Romance”) and EP. Upon first listen, their sound is reminiscent of 80s synth rock, but it also has a psychedelic element to it. It also reminded me of The 1975, especially in the other two tracks on EP, but The Midnight Romance has added their own flair to their music that makes them stand out from other bands.
The MV was definitely shot with the song in mind, particularly with the way the sets were decorated, they type of lighting used, as well as the old school VHS filter that is constant throughout the MV. As mentioned earlier, the band’s sound is reminiscent of the 80s, and they’ve added to that feel by decorating the set with golden streamers and saturated fluorescent lighting. The set is simple – the only other props that are used are a disco ball, a skeleton and a cardboard box. Despite the simplicity of the set, it adds to the mood of the song, and it further amplifies the message of the song.
The story of the MV is also simple: Minue is lonely, thus he buys a robot to get rid of his loneliness. However, the robot fails make him happy no matter what he does, and so he throws it away. We see him enter again with a new box, but this time it is a clone of him that steps out. Of course, his choice to buy a female robot and give her flowers is already an indicator of his desire for companionship, but what the MV does well in bringing out Minue’s isolation is through small, subtle gestures.
Before Minue opens the box, we see him sitting next to it and resting his head on the box, almost as if he was trying to listen for a sign of life. The way his fingers skim across the top of box also suggests that he longs for the touch of another person. When the robot is revealed and switched on, Minue doesn’t waste any time, and immediately gives her a bouquet of roses, which she smells and returns to him in a span of thirty seconds.
The idea of a robot – who was bought in order for Minue to have someone reciprocate his love – rejecting his proposal to be his companion is harsh and absolutely miserable. Even when Minue kisses the robot, the whole interaction is devoid of emotion and passion, highlighting the loneliness Minue feels. The screen starts to glitch as the two of them kiss, as if to say that this is an error, and that nothing will come out of this interaction. As much as he tries to project his feelings onto a robot, it will never actually feel anything for him, and neither will he feel anything for it.
The MV ends with Minue opening up another box to reveal a clone of himself, which may seem like a message for self-love. However, it can also be implied that ultimately, Minue is alone and only has himself to rely on. No matter how many midnight romances he has, those only last for one night, and the next day, it is just him, and him alone, again.
We’ve got one night, one night
But never felt this way
We’ve got one night, one night
But can’t get enough, get enough
I wanna rewind
One shot I absolutely love in the MV is the shot of the robot in the box with her legs sticking out. Personally, this shot is uncomfortable and disturbing to look at, but just one look and viewers can immediately tell that the robot has been thrown away because she was unable to fulfil Minue’s need for companionship. That aside, it also feels uncomfortable because it gives me the impression that if I am unable to fulfil my purpose in a relationship, I will be thrown out without any hesitation as well.
Overall, I really enjoyed what The Midnight Romance has brought to the table, and their self-titled EP is also worth a listen. Everything is cohesive, from the sound to the style of the MV, and they are definitely a band worth keeping an eye out for in the future.
(YouTube. Lyrics and Images via Warner Music Korea and MJ Dreamsys Ent.)