Laura Loeters and Gregor Sonnenberg alias The Day are a duo that not only admits their differences, but celebrates them with indulgence. Why else would a band with such a freely interpretable name call their first full album „Midnight Parade“? Aside from this charming contrast, one can also say that they are more contradictory than explicit. But that just makes things more exciting, as so often.
After all, The Day is where whimsical Dream Pop meets a DIY ethos learned from hardcore, which allows for Lo-Fi moments in production. An international long-distance constellation meets an almost celebratory pan-European idea of unification (which sadly can’t be emphasized too often in recent months). This is continued in the songs by themes that connect and contrast the private and the political as often as possible. In addition, the music expresses utopia as well as melancholy in its escapism and thus refuses to be interpreted in an overly fixed way.
As confusing as it may seem to read, „Midnight Parade“ also sounds as vibrant.
Loeters and Sonnenberg once met as students at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Arnhem, the Netherlands, and quickly began making music together. Their style developed steadily and over several years, while the two collected further residences in their biographies and finally landed in Utrecht and Hamburg respectively. Two EPs were released gradually moving them from folk and indie pop to postpunk, dream and synth pop. Now they have arrived at „Midnight Parade“, and the rich sound and style variety of this LP underlines a respectable development in ambition and skill, which generally only bands can show, who have been working on themselves diligently and for years.
„Midnight Parade“ has everything you could wish for on an album from this style conglomerate: A sparse, springy and rapturous dynamic alternates with a wildly imaginative dream-pop harmony, rock and synths create just as inspiring contrasts as great sound bursts and artistically contextualizing interludes. „Grow“ with its funky synth pop is a flawless hit, while songs like „Yet To Come“ or „Island“ with their refreshing, reduced postpunk open references to heroes of the Warpaint price range or the blessed The Organ. With „Berlin“ the band dares to do more rock and more reverberation and reminds here most clearly of The xx, and so it goes on and on: The Day are sometimes poppy, sometimes serious, sometimes out of place. They can be tender and hard as well as abstract, and it’s this broad range of skills that makes their album so extraordinary and so good.
Loeters and Sonnenberg did all this almost alone. Both the recordings and the production were done by them, only the drum tracks were recorded by musician friends. In this context, their great video for „Yet To Come“ marks an exception, perhaps even a turning point: for the first time, they gave the artistic direction for a The Day output out of their hands to the Finnish-French director Lumi Lausas, whom they held in high esteem. The clip is thus not only the first external artistic input for The Day, but also emphasizes the European idea that this band lives – and that one listens to in their music.