Track Of The Day: Midnight Ambulance – ‘Smoke and Sweets’

In 2020, old friends reconnected after years apart and formed Midnight Ambulance, and boy are we glad they did! This perfect partnership has crafted an eclectic and dark sound which has gone on to see the Edinburgh based duo shortlisted for BBC Introducing Scottish Act of the Year 2022 and as support for Texas at Fringe By The Sea this August

Latest single ‘Smoke and Sweets‘ is a captivating offering, reflecting on feelings of isolation and someone’s reality slipping away; written through the Covid-19 lockdown, where isolation was experienced by many. The subject matter is clearly reflected through the powerful soundscape the duo have created, cleverly blending an exquisite folk-inspired musicality with electronic sounds and fuzzy in-your-face guitar, building to an immense frenzied climax. This eclectic fusion of sounds really gives them an interesting edge where you don’t know what to expect. 

Opening with an electronic drone and reverb-washed yet detailed vocals, Midnight Ambulance set an atmospheric scene with a stunning traditional folk melody sung with haunting close harmonies. A distorted drum enters, panned hard to one side, demonstrating interesting production decisions. For fellow audiophiles, this track must be listened to with quality headphones or a good sound system to truly experience the beautiful intricacies of what’s going on.

At one and a half minutes in, you are hit with a delicious drop – introducing heavier and more distorted territories. The vocals become faster, more urgent and desperate – “I don’t know how to let it go”. There’s feedback on the guitar, breathy vocal chops, vocal vocoders and smashing cymbals, poignantly mirroring the protagonist’s loss of reality. 

‘Smoke and Sweets’ was recorded at North Road Studios, which uses vintage equipment – giving the song a unique gritty warmth. 

Watch the stirring live video for ‘Smoke and Sweets’ here:

Ella Patenall
@ellapatenall

Photo Credit: Gareth Goodlad