Who: Midnight Movies, a Los Angeles quartet that creates indie pop that combines both the sunny moods and dark undercurrents of their hometown.
Sounds Like: The Human League and the Doors scoring a film noir, or if David Lynch had his own band and hired Nico to sing lead. On their new self-titled EP, the band puts their stamp on a cover of the Moody Blues’ “Nights in White Satin,” while artists like James Iha and Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Nick Zinner remix songs from the band’s second album. “Before, ‘Souvenirs’ had a new wave feel to it,” says lead singer Gena Olivier. “But Nick turned into something much more raw and punk rock.”
• In addition to the cinematic quality of their music, the band shares a love of movies, which helped spawn their name. “Larry [Schemel, guitarist and employee at L.A.’s famed Amoeba Records] has a huge Sixties and Seventies horror movie collection,” Olivier says. “There was a book on his shelf called Midnight Movies, and when we played our first gig we didn’t have a name so he just wrote that down.”
• Besides singing in a band, Olivier also knows her way around a kitchen. “I love cooking. It’s right up there with music for me,” Olivier says, talking about her job as a twice-a-week chef for a Beverly Hills family. “I never had culinary training. I totally use the Rachael Ray book when I go there.”
• Not only does the band cover the Moody Blues’ “Nights in White Satin,” they cover it twice: Once in English and once in French as “Mes Reves Des Satin.” “I heard the song on a Femme de Paris compilation, and there’s a version by [Sixties French singer] Patricia that we wanted to cover,” Olivier says. “So that’s why we did it in French.”
Hear It Now: The band’s new self-titled EP is on iTunes now, along with their first two albums. Check out the above video to watch and hear Nick Zinner’s remix of the band’s “Souvenirs.”