Coming off his acclaimed 2021 four-song EP When I Hit The Floor--which prompted the esteemed Jesse Malin to praise it as “Real blood and guts rock and roll that bleeds with soul and redemption”--NYC punk rock n’ roll singer-songwriter-guitarist LORNE BEHRMAN shares the video for “A Little Midnight.” It’s the first single (out digitally this Friday, June 10) from his debut album of the same name, available September 16 on Spaghetty Town Records. Watch the video, directed by David J Barron, here and read a new Q&A below. It was premiered yesterday (June 8) by Glide which noted that the song “features a blackened riff howl of punk bands like The Damned and The Gun Club mixed with pop sensibilities of The Replacements. When Behrman sings “A little midnight/ it’s alright/A little midnight/does you right,” listeners get a gracious sense of rock and roll escapism at its most pure form.”
The “A Little Midnight” single is a slice of dirty rock n’ roll scrapped off of the streets of the Bowery with an introspective heart from the artist who previously played in The Dimestore Haloes, L.E.S. Stitches, The Dead Tricks and most recently The Sweet Things. “The moonlight looks on good you/Not darkness just silver blue/A little midnight/it’s alright/A little midnight/does you right,” sings LORNE on the song.
A LITTLE MIDNIGHT is a 10-song collection is a series of New York City vignettes haunted by shadows but guided by light. The words here are literate and lacerating, recalling the street poetics of Lou Reed, Richard Hell, and Television. The songs feature stark and fluid guitar playing in the spirit of The Stooges’ James Williamson, Johnny Thunders, and Lou Reed.
“This album is about struggling to be reborn,” LORNE shares. “Wanting to run back to the arms of toxic people or the patterns of self-destruction. It’s about clawing your way to a new existence while acknowledging all the causalities, and all you’re letting go. You glimpse a new life, but you don’t feel it yet.”
The album’s raw but polished production aesthetic is courtesy of producer Matt Chiaravalle (Warren Zevon, Joe Bonamassa, Spacehog). A LITTLE MIDNIGHT was mastered by Grammy-nominated engineer Joe Lambert. Wyldlife bassist Spencer Alexander designed the album artwork, and it is a subtly playful homage to the cover of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ Damn the Torpedoes.
The track listing for A LITTLE MIDNIGHT is:
01 - Love Stumbles By
02 - Harlem River Serenade
03 - I Can Burn You Down
04 - Monday Morning
05 - Well, I Can't Hold You
06 - A Little Midnight
07 - You Wont Live In This Past
08 - I Hope The Sun Doesn't Catch Us
09 - Black Cars
10 - Further On Down The Road
Q&A with LORNE BEHRMAN ABOUT THE SONG + VIDEO
“A LITTLE MIDNIGHT”
--What inspired you to write “A Little Midnight,” which is also the title of your upcoming album, and release it as the first single? It’s a punchy and upbeat song, with your angular guitar work and almost conversationally delivered vocals. It also possesses the lyrical urgency you’re becoming known for.
It came down to me having a bad day where a lot of normal but challenging life things were stacking up. I was nervous about paying bills. I had taken my cat to the vet, it looked like she was really sick, and I was waiting on results. And someone in my family was struggling with some serious mental health issues. I felt overwhelmed. When I feel that way, I want to escape from it all. But I couldn’t—it’s real life; it’s being an adult. I was so worried and I sat on the couch and picked up my guitar and sang and played that opening line, “I don’t want to run away again/my problems like feathers in the wind.” It gave me a lot of comfort—like a punk rock n’ roll lullaby to ease my fears. A lot of times the problems we have in life seem more manageable on the other side of the day. Like hang on for a bit, the strength and wisdom to deal with your problems will come.
My decision to release it first was that I feel like it set the tone for the album which is hope. It’s a personal and candid album about my life, but there is an optimism and warmth there, even in the sadness and aggressive parts of the music. There’s always, always hope in my music. Always.
--When you sing the lines, “Cracked sidewalk/crooked roots/Shoot up till you fade away,” are you writing about your own experiences?
That was a poetic image on my street. A tree coming up at an angle from the sidewalk and cracking the sidewalk, and next to it on the ground, a hypodermic needle. The image was just really metaphorically powerful.
--The song clocks in at 1:47 seconds. How do you feel that short length benefits the song?
I love the idea of a little dose of strength or a quick jolt into resilience. The thought being, maybe someone is having a hard time, and they can take less than two minutes and “A Little Midnight” will reset them and make them feel better. For me, punk rock always made me feel better quickly. When it’s the right song, you only need to hear a small amount of it to feel centered, hence, the lyric A little midnight/ it’s alright/A little midnight it does you right.
--As with the EP, the upcoming album was produced by Matt Chiaravalle. Can you talk about why you feel his production style is the perfect fit for your songs?
The main thing is I trust Matt. He will tell me when something is up to par, or if a song needs something else, or if I am missing the mark. He’s honest, blunt, but also says things in a way that makes you feel like you can achieve the ideal he sees. Matt is also really eclectic and can reverently realize lots of different musical visions. We can nerd out about Motown, guitarist Robert Quine, 1990s punk, the Stones, Dylan, the Cure, Television, Lou Reed, and he knows the ins and outs of those classic records. In addition to being a great producer, he’s also a great engineer. He gets great tones, can coax great performances out of musicians, and he’s fast in the studio. He’s also hilarious, and I find myself laughing about things we talk about in the studio for weeks after a session. Matt doesn’t give a lot of compliments, and when he says he likes something or a song is good it’s for real. I admire his honesty. He brought out the best in me, and I am so grateful.
--For the video, you went with a fun and light-hearted feel. You’re seen a photo shoot, having playful + flirty exchanges with Paige Campbell, the song’s back-up singer. What inspired you to take this approach and who directed the video?
I was telling the director David J Baron about the meaning of the song and the story that inspired it. He thought it would be interesting to explore the narrative with levity. We talked about the great Replacements video for “Bastards of Young,” and the idea of a video where everything goes wrong.
Paige is like a sister to me, and we’ve been guiding lights with each other’s music careers. I’ve played on a few of her recordings for her band How Tragic before they found their guitar player. So, doing things together, and me being playfully annoying, is part of our lives as close friends and collaborators, especially that scene with the guitar solo.
When we shot the video it was me, Paige, director David, and my fiancée, Danielle, just hanging out at a studio having fun. Just friends laughing and doing something low key. It was a lot of fun and very loose, and I wasn’t self-conscious. However, when I first saw the video, I was nervous because I felt like all the “uncool” things about myself were exposed. I showed it to Paige and Danielle and they were like “that is you,” and that made me feel like I should just got with it. I was overthinking it, and taking myself too seriously.