Ambient heads midst released their five-track EP 2 on Tuesday (Apr 23), a day after announcing the project on the band’s social media platforms.
“These five new tracks are a labour of love brought to you from across three different continents,” wrote the band. “As you might know, midst has been struggling to stay active, mostly down to long distance and each of us being in different life stages.”
“We have no idea when we’ll even see each other again, face to face as a band. But for now… we want to leave you with this.”
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ANNOUNCEMENT: we're happy to finally release EP 2 – out digitally tomorrow, April 23rd 💙. we're so sorry to those who have been waiting so patiently for new music. these five new tracks are a labour of love brought to you from across three different continents. as you might know, midst has been struggling to stay active, mostly down to long distance and each of us being in different life stages. we have no idea when we'll even see each other again, face to face as a band. but for now… we want to leave you with this. all our love, midst
Speaking to Popspoken, Kin, one-third of midst, revealed the long journey behind this release.
“I think it’d be wrong to say that this EP has been a full three years in the making. We’ve been in and out of different commitments for the past three years — a major one being NS — and have only had very sporadic time together to work on music,” said Kin of the band, which also includes Jeremy Chua and Rachel Cheng.
“Then again, I guess this is a pretty normal situation for any Singaporean band to be in at this age,” he added.
midst’s sophomore EP arrives three years after the band’s debut release, EP. There’s definitely a pattern here, perhaps in the same vein as FKA Twigs’ style of christening compilations.
Due to academic commitments, the trio were separated soon after the release of their debut EP. “Jeremy is in Melbourne studying a double major in music and communication,” explained Kin. “I’m in London right now, doing a three-year course in music mixing and mastering. Rachel’s a communications graduate from NUS and she’s currently pursuing a career in film production in Singapore.”
Working over e-mail and Telegram
Work on the tracks that appear on EP 2 first began at the end of 2017, right before the trio parted ways, said Kin. That period saw the genesis of some tracks, “including lyrics, chord progressions, arrangements and other ideas”.
“Even then, at some points, only two out of three of us would be free. But we tried our best to write what we could anyway so that we’d have things to work on when Jeremy and I went away. And when we did go away, the workflow was reduced to a series of messages back and forth via e-mail and Telegram — each of us working on the track in our own way and sending it back for feedback,” he said.
“Jeremy could record his guitar bits over in Melbourne, and both of us could produce remotely and send stems to each other. The vocals, thankfully, were all recorded before I left. It was a tough process amidst our own lives and commitments, which caused some delay with the release. But we’re all really glad that we managed to put this out in the end!”
With Rachel serving as the band’s vocalist, midst’s atmospheric sound is inspired by Hammock, London Grammar, M83, Oh Wonder, James Blake, Bon Iver and Evenings, said Kin.
Soon in our midst
While Kin admitted the logistical and scheduling difficulties with planning a show “for the foreseeable future”, he didn’t rule out the possibility of another gig in the future.
“This doesn’t mean we’ve broken up as a band. If we all end up back in Singapore at some point, and conditions are right… anything could happen,” said Kin.
EP 2 is now available on Spotify.
Header Image: midst