Sometimes, you have to explore the most painful moments of your life to release your most inspiring contemplations about it. For musician Nick Leng, this came after an emotional breakup, apartment fire, and subsequent loss of a friend, which led him on a journey through wistfulness, isolation, and ultimately, a renewal of spirit. His diligence paid off with the release of his powerful debut LP, LEMONS, in April 2020 on SOTA Records. It’s an album precise even in its idiosyncrasies, featuring a heady mix of throwback dream-pop, classically routed, singer-songwriter introspection, and beat-driven whimsy.
“Morning/Midnight“, the latest single from Leng is a scenic journey through a mind trying to figure where it’s going to go from here. From the swirling piano intro that could have gone a million satisfying directions, the song settles into a brooding, contemplative groove, the kind that if you saw it coming down the street you’d be too intimidated to stop and say hello while at the same time not being able to take your eyes off it. Leng’s expressive vocals and constant, sustained bass notes perfectly fill up an otherwise sparse arrangement while fuzzed-out guitar accents cover the rest. “Morning/Midnight” is accompanied by a one-take video directed by Josh Sondock, that’s exploding with showmanship and old-school cinematic tricks that can’t be missed.
“Morning / Midnight” and “My Mind is a Mess in the Morning” were both born during the pandemic during a time when I was trying to reconnect with myself both spiritually and musically. I was living in a trailer park when I started writing My Mind is a Mess, taking most of the lyrics from some journal entries . These two songs were also made when I started switching up much of my production process. I started sampling a lot of my classical piano improvisation in hardware gear and that’s how the intro to Morning / Midnight came alive . I wanted to do a double release because I felt like it was a good way to show people the musical universe I’m trying to paint . Both were contenders for singles but together the picture felt so compelling,” adds Leng.