The DC-based duo Midnight Faces, which consists of veteran DC musician Matthew Warn (Saxon Shore) and Philip Stancil, make cool, precisely crafted gloom pop in the vein of vintage Depeche Mode or New Order. But that’s not where the noticeable influences end. Warn and Stancil also make no apologies for their love of and devotion to classic rock (think of Tom Petty’s dusty, back roads rock). And though the two genres seem like they should be kept well away from each other at all times, these guys make this creative mishmash work despite the genres’ apparent dissimilarity. Their debut record Fornication was released earlier this month on Broken Factory Records and was produced by Jason Martin (The Drums, Cold War Kids).
We sat down with member Phil Stancil recently to talk about some of the records which have been making the rounds in his musical rotation. Given the amalgamative nature of Midnight Faces, it would stand to reason that his tastes (and Warn’s for that matter) would play host to a wide variety of musical tendencies and rhythmic proclivities, and to gauge from his choices here, that’s certainly the case. Ranging from the gossamer dance-pop of Niki and the Dove to the indie rock masterwork You Forgot It In People by Broken Social Scene, and on to R&B phenom The Dream–and even The Boss himself–Stancil digs deep into his often disparate influences in the latest installment of our On Deck series. Check out his full list below.
I first heard the tracks “Mother Protect” and “The Fox” in a friend’s car, and I was an instant fan. Moody hooks, tribal rhythms and….Stevie Nicks? I can dig it. I gave myself a heavy dose of the group for a few months, and was finally able to catch a live performance at El Rey Theatre in LA, which was nothing less than awesome.
This album has been floating around my car for a couple of years, and for good reason. Guitar heavy and drum driven, this album has always stood out to me. “KC Accidental” & “Cause=Time” are still my favorites track from that band, and both have influenced the way I play guitar.
I have a mix of random Dream songs in the car, with my favorite track being “Dope Bitch”. This track satisfies my love for hip-hop beats, staccato piano and catchy vocal melodies. I was likely an R&B singer in another life, and singing this track while cruisin’ lets me live out the fantasy. If you haven’t yet, I encourage you to check him out. Close the doors and play it loud.
Little Dragon has become one of my favorite groups recently, my only complaint being that I didn’t find them sooner. Yukimi Nagano’s vocals would sound great over anything, but paired with the beautiful instrumentation of the group, it becomes something else entirely. More than any other group, Little Dragon always prompts a “who’s this?” from the back seat.
Some of Springsteen’s songs make me want to man out hard, yet others make me wish I was a teenage girl lying in his arms. Only a true rock god could induce such contrasting emotions. He’s been one of my favorite singers throughout my life, and has come in and out of my playlist time and time again. Recently I’ve been playing a cover of Springsteen’s “Atlantic City” by The Band, making sure to light a cigarette, put the windows down and let the wind blow my hair. It’s the only way to properly enjoy a Boss song.
Midnight Faces’ debut album Fornication is out now on Broken Factory records.