In a confident glide, the beautiful textures amalgamate to form the first thirty seconds of Antherius’ “Midnight Cowboy,” out this spring in both music video and single form. In the video, we look out upon a surreal, near-empty New York City, the ghostly imagery reflecting the awakening melodies rather perfectly. We’re no more than a minute into the track, percussion just beginning to fill the air around us, and already it feels as though we’re hearing “Midnight Cowboy” as we never have before. It’s because we are, and the artist responsible reimagines the legendary song all too poignantly to ignore his heartfelt handiwork.
By the midway point in the track, the instrumentation swells to such an overwhelmingly grand level that it would seem as though one melody is bleeding into the next. Layer after layer of emotional play comes pouring out of the speakers like an out of control flood, but despite all of the grandeur, I wouldn’t deem this take on “Midnight Cowboy” over the top at all. Antherius is intent on making us feel the music as much as we hear it, and by connecting with us through physical textures here, he makes it impossible for listeners to walk away unaffected.
I came into this review of “Midnight Cowboy” with some pretty high expectations, but I would be lying if I said Antherius didn’t live up to them all. In this release, the pain of COVID-19 is finally met with a formidable opponent in the form of awesomely inspiring musicality. Though there is still plenty of uncertainty ahead for the world, Antherius gives us a little bit of normalcy through an evocative exhibition in synthesized ambience here. I think he deserves a hearty dose of critical praise for what he’s trying to accomplish, and definitely am looking forward to hearing more music like this in the years to come.