The Lowdown: There’s something sublime that occurs when a producer is able to tap into the creative well of a young musician and facilitate breakthrough work. There are legendary examples:
Mark Ronson on Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black, Guy Stevens on London Calling. In the world of indie rock, Stef Chura’s Midnight is sure to go down in this category. Under the guiding hand of angst-anthem wunderkind Will Toledo, known for his outfit Car Seat Headrest, Chura has arrived at a sophisticated, riveting new sound.
Whereas her first album, 2017’s Messes, was (understandably) messy, an often-thrilling but sometimes unruly assortment of roughshod, open-chord bedroom rock, the songs on Midnight are intricate and dynamic.
The collaborative energy between Chura and Toledo, who plays on every track, blooms throughout the record, yet Chura never loses hold of singular creative authority, keeping her wobbly voice and punk elan center-stage.