Produced by Brett Bullion, best known for his work with Poliça, and Bon Iver, Psychic Reader, the debut full-length effort from the Minneapolis,MN-based trio Bad Bad Hats has built up a bit of buzz through the blogosphere with the release of the album’s first two singles “Shame” and album title track, “Psychic Reader.” The album’s third and latest single (and video) “Midway” consists of shimmering and angular guitar chords, a persistent and propulsive drum beat and wobbling bass chords paired with Kerry Alexander’s silkily seductive crooning. Out of the three singles released from the album, “Midway” is the most pop-leaning but it’s also arguably the moodiest song off the album to date. And although pop-leaning, lyrically the song at its core, like the rest of the material on Psychic Reader challenges gender conventions in a way that would make religious conservatives blush. Fuck them though.
The narrator of “Midway” is openly and frankly sexual and much like the rest of the material on Psychic Reader, the narrator describes hooking up with someone and having what sounds like an emotional breakdown during the encounter, and the awkwardness that ensues. You can practically picture the other person, desperately trying to be kind and understanding – and yet it’s fumbling and it doesn’t quite fulfill its purpose. And the song evokes that desperate, fumbling awkwardness in a way that you have to empathize with it.
The official video features the trio playing in the dark with kaleidoscopic filters and Alexander starting off into the distance with tear smeared mascara, which further emphasizes the song’s emotionality.