Midnight is when everything turns. One day becomes the next. The anticipatory tenor of late evening becomes the reflective mood of early morning. Whatever you did; that was yesterday, and you can put it behind you. The blank slate of the next day is in front of you, which is beautiful – and terrifying, too.
And if you happen to be watching the clock, there’s no doubt that you’ll notice when midnight strikes. It’s as significant and meaningful as a daily experience can be, and, often, it’s one that’s quite private for the person who is having it. But Baker Grace has made her name by sharing her most personal reflections, and she’s giving us her “Midnight Thoughts.” In glorious verses and irresistible hooky choruses, it all comes flooding out: her desires, her needs, her ambitions, her distrust of her own strange impulses, and her flashes of sudden late-night revelation.
But Baker Grace has shown us that she’s wide open to epiphanies. Her discography is a chronicle of illumination: track by track, she learns more about herself, and opens up further. Girl, I Know, her recent EP, was quintessential modern confessional pop — a five-song collection of tough, whip-smart, brutally honest songs. Here was musical confectionary of the best kind, with melodies and lyrics that were irresistibly sweet, but awfully tart, too.
“Midnight Thoughts” takes all of the qualities that made Girl, I Know such a successful underground release and amplifies them. The synthesizers are smoother, the beats are more propulsive, the hooks are sharper, and the lyrics are as forthright as modern pop gets. Yet the most distinctive feature of the track is Baker Grace herself. She’s fully inhabiting the scenario, channeling the feeling of the inexorable approach of midnight, and taking the listener on a wild ride through the shadows.
It’s no secret that Baker Grace is videogenic: she always looks fantastic on screen, and her turn in “Midnight Thoughts” is certainly no exception to that. The effortless sexiness she’s brought to her prior clips is here in spades, and her elegant personal style is showcased, too. The hinge-like nature of the witching hour is brought to life through the figure of an hourglass, which, when turned, changes everything around the singer. One moment, she’s in a car with a lover, and the next, she’s clawing the sand on a desolate beach at night. There’s a leather-clad figure with a countdown clock superimposed on the visor of his motorcycle helmet, a shower of sparks, flashes of heat, intimations of trips taken too far. The effect is dreamlike, destabilized, haunting and mesmerizing — with everything befitting an artist whose work continues to grow in complexity and depth.