midst

As soon as we heard two songs from midst, we knew we needed to get in touch with them ASAP. There was something so exciting about the energy and ambiance they created that we wanted to get to know a bit deeper. With a new EP out, which you can find on their bandcamp page, it looks like what we’ve heard so far is just the tip of the iceberg for what we hope is a lot more to come.

First off, what are the roots of midst? How did you all come together, and what got you all onto the path towards making the stuff you do now?

Kin & Jeremy first met in school and began jamming for about a year or so until Rachel was introduced to the band. Music is a huge part of all our lives, and it just seemed like a natural process to start contributing to the very music we enjoy. Of course, we are all very inspired by similar stuff, so it just seemed right to delve into this particular music direction.

SE Asia doesn’t really have a country anyone outside of the region can pinpoint musically, so what’s the scene like in Singapore right now?

Singapore isn’t particularly known for our music. Being a relatively young country, the arts industry is only recently beginning to flourish because of increased support from the locals. Over here, we’re still trying to fight a stigma where local music is “sub-standard” compared to international music. But it’s getting better. In terms of music diversity, all the various Singaporean bands can cover most of the genre spectrum, from post-rock to indie pop. Check out other great Singaporean acts like Charlie Lim, Pleasantry, .gif, and Linying.

Being in such a distinctly located country is tricky I’m sure. How are you all taking steps to get traction outside of the area? Do you find it difficult, or has the digital age finally leveled the playing field some?

Well, we’d be nothing without the digital age. Most, if not all, our hype comes from social media or music websites. We’re lucky enough to be featured on a couple of international music websites, like yours in particular, or hillydilly.com. We do try to make an impact in some of the more niche music communities that exist online through mediums like Soundcloud as well.

Do you think there are misconceptions about Singapore that you all use as motivation? Like, I know some folks in the region (since we live in Vietnam) who call it “Singabore,” but it seems like, at least right now, there’s some amazing stuff going on not just musically, but throughout the arts.

As mentioned, it’s still early days, and the arts industry here hasn’t had the chance to fully flex its diverse muscles on the international stage. But you’re right that there is some really exciting stuff beginning to pop up over here. A new generation of extremely talented individuals have begun to find their voice in the industry, whether it be in visual arts, cinematography, or music. It’s only a matter of time before Singapore starts to grow a presence internationally.

Related to that, your music seems to create an atmosphere and landscape that reaches far beyond the realms of what was produced. Can you take us through how you all are able to create such rich tapestries?

We are heavily inspired by various movies, short films, soundtracks, and scenes in our heads. If a soundtrack to a scene can add that amount of emotion and depth, then it should be able to do so on its own as well. An essential part of our music is to design soundscapes that could evoke a visual experience in the mind of the listener. We make use of a lot of ambient sounds that we’ve recorded in various places, places that meant something to us or where we experienced a grand feeling.

“Wake up, O sleeper” is such an experience. Would you say the EP has a similar feel, or is there more experimentation to be heard?

Our full-length album will be a little more down-to-earth. We’re planning less experimentation and more emotions.

Just to get into the production a little bit, how do you all handle the production of your work? It’s some of the clearest and refreshing production and engineering we’ve heard from a new act in a while. Are you all behind that, or is it someone else?

That’s really nice to hear! We handle pretty much everything, including both recording and production. We very much like the idea of our EP being a bedroom project; it makes us feel a lot more personal towards our own music. Our production process is a little messy – we often jump from track to track based on whatever inspiration we have on that particular day. It can get slightly inconsistent in terms of day-to-day recording quality, but we do our best to make up for it in post-production. Of course, we plan to refine this whole process when we start making the next album.

So what’s next with the EP out now? Do you all plan to tour? Take a breather? Record more?

The band is actually forced to take a little hiatus for the better part of this year due to two of us being in military service. Of course, when the time comes, we’d love to start planning for live shows and making new music.