Despite their relatively small output, Midnight Divide has always managed to sound like one of the biggest bands on the planet. Formed in 2015, the L.A. trio — singer-guitarist-keyboardist Austen Moret, guitarist Dan Beltran and bassist Jace McPartland (joined by live drummer Bryan King) — have released two EPs, 2015’s “Embrace the Wave” and 2017’s “Dichotomy.”
Their sound, tailor-made for stadiums and honed in Moret’s Hollywood studio, Silverside Recording, recalls heavy hitters such as Muse, Imagine Dragons and Queens of the Stone Age. In the choppy seas of alternative rock aspirants, Midnight Divide has positioned itself as the tsunami. Even so, they are a work in progress, with a new EP on the way this fall.
“Of anything we’ve done to date, this new record has felt like the most unadulterated version of what we want to sound like,” Moret says. “It’s this blend of all our favorite real rock elements (live drums, bass, guitars, etc.), but it’s got this shiny, synthy, almost pop-like sheen over it. … It feels like we’ve pulled off the mask on who we are … and it feels really damn good.”
“Who Do You Think That You Are?” is the EP’s first single, a smoldering rocker built on a grinding bass line that gnaws at you like the song’s thematic dread. “I tried to capture that utter maddening push and pull of craving someone or something wonderfully terrible for you,” Moret says. “You’re pissed about it, and deep down, you know you’re sitting on a time bomb, but for whatever reason … you stick around. Just waiting for the inevitable fireworks.”
||| Stream: “Who Do Yo Think That You Are?”
||| Live: Midnight Divide plays Aug. 10 at Madame Siam.
||| Previously: “Let It Be Known”