Sonja Midtune’s new single “My Light”
You don’t have to be a music critic or even a dedicated audiophile to recognize immediately in Sonja Midtune’s new single “My Light” that this isn’t the singer/songwriter’s first trip to the recording booth. Since releasing her debut Post Love back in 2014, Midtune has been on a whirlwind ride that has seen her rise through the ranks of the indie rock hierarchy to her present place at the forefront of an underground scene bursting at the seams with skill. Though 2019 is expected to bring a lot of exciting new talent out of the woodwork, it’s Midtune’s latest single that has critics talking more than anything else right now, and it takes but only one listen to see exactly why. In the song, and its stylish music video, Midtune opens up to us lyrically and musically in a way that few artists are ever comfortable doing. Her vulnerability is as fetching as the harmonies that she unleashes in the track, which are quite possibly the most earnest and solicitous of any she’s ever recorded.
The music video for “My Light” doesn’t need a lot of bells and whistles to translate the acerbic quality of the song, and Midtune thoughtfully kept them out of the equation. In the video, we’re with her on Cali’s Zuma Beach, engaging with her in the carefree lifestyle that comes with living in the Golden State. She and her co-starring male friend are silent, their expressions melding with the rhythm of the music and its swinging melodies. Though it features the same musical minimalism and cunning lyricism that made Live from Universal Mastering Studios the hit that it ultimately became, “My Light” just feels like a different kind of song both stylistically and compositionally when we look at her body of work as a whole. There’s nothing constrictive about its tempo, nothing reserved in her delivery, and further, nothing relenting in the instrumental flow of the music. It’s as if we’re sitting in on an excerpt of an extended jam session’s amplified lull, where the mood of the song is left to simmer just beneath the surface while the band continues to play on.
Sonja Midtune has set the bar awfully high for herself and any one of her peers who wishes to challenge her for the indie throne this year with the release of “My Light,” but something tells me that we haven’t seen the very best of Midtune yet. This is her at her most unguarded and confessional; were she to continue cultivating this aspect of her songwriting, I think that she could be a serious force to be reckoned with on the Billboard charts entering the 2020s. She’s got so much passion in her play, and better yet, she’s in complete control of her creativity. This isn’t an artist who is still finding her sound or shaping the parameters of her songcraft. “My Light” symbolizes a true blue musician arriving right where she’s always belonged – on the lucrative side of the primetime. Midtune isn’t finished doing what she does better than most anyone, and this is a bit more evidence of what’s to come.
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