When asked to write about a New York band I’d never heard before, I was skeptical. I’ve written about bands for other sites but for something under First Angel Media I wanted the bands from outside of Pittsburgh to be the kind that really had a reason for my audience to listen, and I was given one. “Peach Juice” is a song I can really get behind, and not just because I really dig the groove of this mash-up of 80’s rock mixed with punk with a touch of something rather psychedelic, but because of the message. “Peach Juice” was inspired by real-life events Spencer Draeger saw on daily subway rides, walks through the city, work, and seeing messages sent to his girlfriend. It started as something rather different, more of a love song really, but became an anthem for those women tired of cat calls and aggressive sexual advances. I admit that after hearing the song and learning the reason behind the lyrics, I had to conduct my own interview with Spencer.
The Midnight Hollow is a band out of New York, composed of Spencer (Lead guitar/vocals), Andrew Segreti (Drums), and Matt Leibowitz (Bass,) that has gone through many changes to reach the point of a well put together three piece that focuses more on their high energy, live shows than recordings. Spencer tells me that what starts as a well recorded three-minute song may turn into nine minutes of a new/old mix on stage. Yes, the basic structure is there but fans love the way they reinvent each song with their live sets, following their artistic flow to create something you won’t hear any other time. Many fans refuse to miss a show just for that alone. It all started as a solo project in San Francisco but after moving to New York Spencer decided the possibility was there to branch out and now he feels the dynamics are so much better. Originals usually begin with scratch vocals and are then brought to the rest of the band for their input. This turns into enough material to flesh out a full song, and they like to release singles every few months. The band likes to break from the old to the new, many songs can be seen as a type of melodic or dreamy influence but all of them have been well received.
A pretty laid back guy who plays many instruments and a very artistic point of view in the way he presents himself, Spencer is sarcastic with what he calls a dry sense of humor. He’s rather modest about the band’s success and tells me that while he has done several interviews in the past week, he still considers the band to be in their fan gathering stage while they currently gear up for future projects. He admits that with the diverse backgrounds of each band member it can be difficult to get a sound they all agree on but the passion, connection and drive they share brings out the best in them. They may have a dark sounding name but they are not dark people. When I asked Spencer what he hopes to tell his fans through this article he responded,
“Be real be yourself. In a world where you can manipulate & perfect everything, perfection is less than authenticity. Don’t try to be everyone else, everyone else is taken. As an artist, the things most insightful will be the most honest & vulnerable song of any album. Being authentic for us gives our fans a more honest message in a scripted world, this is a chance to be yourself rather than the voyeuristic identification of social media. Don’t forget to do what is really you.”
With “Peach Juice” it’s obvious they are sticking to the truth as they see it. While the song is rather upbeat and fun, the lyrics are loaded. “There’s a fine line of flattery and creepy….It’s a moment every woman I know always share…They think it’s ok when you’re dressed that way”. The music is enough to make this a hit but the intent behind the words chosen make it a modern day celebration for women tired of being told they have to look sexy and then hearing learning that living up to that standard means getting dragged into an idea that they are just pieces of meat on the market. As he states, there’s a fine line between flattery and creepy. Something that hit home for him was a subway ride where he watched a woman receive cat calls and not even flinch, simply continue what she was doing. He really felt for her because it had obviously happened to her so much that she was immune to it. Not all of their songs are so socially informed but this one has received high praise for calling attention to an issue many women face.
Check it out for yourself on Soundcloud https://soundcloud.com/themidnighthollow/peach-juice and be sure to look them up on Twitter for more info @TMHollow or Instagram – TheMidnightHollow. While they use both of those sites far more than Facebook you can also find out about them at their page https://www.facebook.com/pg/themidnighthollow
In all, a great band, with a unique sound and perspective. They describe themselves as “Hypnotic Psych Pop” and I don’t think I could describe them any better than that. Check them out on Pandora, Bandcamp, and the usual suspects and follow them for upcoming shows, more press about their album and to find out what else they have up their sleeves!
Jana Lee Macheca - Lady Jaye - Is the founder of First Angel Media as well as a photographer and writer for not only her own company, but Chimera Magazine out of New York. Passionate about music and driven to help the local scene she works to connect those within it, as well as working behind the scenes on various projects. You can find her photo collection at www.firstangel.smugmug.com