The Sentimentality of “After Midnight” | “After Midnight” by Phoenix feat. Clairo


Maggie Heflin, Airstaff Coach

Clairo teamed up with Phoenix this month to create a new version of “After Midnight” off Phoenix’s most recent album, Alpha Zulu. Speaking as someone who hasn’t dipped into Phoenix’s music since their big 2009 hits like “1901” and “Lisztomania,” this song was a blast from the past. I tuned in to hear Clairo and ended up being sent back to my childhood. The quintessential 2010s indie tone is still there, with layers of dreamy synths and a smooth, sweeping guitar led by a drum machine. 

Clairo fits right in with this sound, her soft voice contrasting well against the emphatic synth. This single is reminiscent of her debut EP, yet again taking me back years ago. And Clairo wasn’t chosen randomly. The band had been fans of Clairo since the early days of her career. Clairo was a fan of Phoenix as well. With the two combined, the sound of “After Midnight” utilizes a synth soundscape to create an incredibly lively and nostalgic feel. This warmth welcomes old listeners, while being catchy enough to bring in the new. With the hypnotic bridge and repetitive melody, the tune is nearly impossible not to sing and dance along to.