Sometime Around Midnight

Album: The Airborne Toxic Event (2008)
Charted: 33

Songfacts®:

  • Songwriter Mikel Jollett told This is Fake DIY about this song: "It's very straightforward – that all actually happened. In fact, everything on the record actually happened. I ran into my ex-girlfriend. That song just describes the night. The whole band was there that night."
  • In America this was named by iTunes as their #1 Alternative Rock Song of 2008.
  • Unusually for a hit song, this does not have a chorus. "Bohemian Rhapsody" is possibly the best example of a successful record without a chorus.
  • The Airborne Toxic Event album was conceived as a novel until songwriter Mikel Jollett realized his writing went better with music. He then set out to recruit a band, which became singer and guitarist Mikel Jollett, guitarist and keyboardist Steven Chen, bassist Noah Harmon, drummer Daren Taylor and keyboardist and violist Anna Bulbrook. The later is a classically trained violinist, who was a resident advisor at Columbia University. Among her charges was Vampire Weekend singer Ezra Koenig.
  • The Airborne Toxic Event took their name from the post-modern writer Don DeLillo's novel White Noise, which won the National Book Award in 1985. In the story the main character is exposed to an enormous chemical explosion, dubbed "the Airborne Toxic Event," and is forced to confront his fear of death.
  • MishMashMagazine asked Jollett if when he wrote this song he thought it would become the big smash hit that it did. He replied: "No, I certainly did not. Everything that happened in the song actually happened. I remember writing the song and just locking myself in my room for three days and writing the lyrics and arranging the parts and was just totally consumed by it. I remember finishing it and just thinking 'Holy s--t,' (laughs) but I honestly never expected other people to hear it."
  • This song would be a bright spot during a dark period for Jollett. He explained: "I had a really bad week. So I was always staying home, working on a novel, which was tedious, and my mom got cancer, my girlfriend and I broke up, and I got diagnosed with this disease that can make you lose your hair or make your skin look patchy, and apparently the condition is made worse by smoking, and I smoked two packs a day. Oh yeah, I got pneumonia, too. So, yes, it was a rough week."
  • "We actually didn't choose it as a single – it was kind of chosen for us," Jollett explained in an Unrescuable Schizo blog interview. "I brought it to the band, we started playing it and we recorded it. And then people just started sharing it on the web; it got posted on blogs and played on local radio stations. We didn't have a record label at the time. We didn't have a manager. It was just the five of us, and the radio station in town called me up and said, 'We're gonna start playing this song.' It was [LA alt-rock station] KROQ. I was like, Really? [laughs]."

Comments: 4

  • Robert from Los Angeles, CaIts about a night he ran into his ex. These things happen in our lives. What can you do. Love would be a great thing if it were not so full of emotion. Yes, I understand that statement may seem to make little sense, but if you think about it, you may find it makes perfect nonsense.
  • Liesa from Roy, UtI love this song and the emotion of it, it gives me goosebumps
  • Mike from Milwaukee, WiUnfortnately Dale, you got some facts wrong. I completely agree that this is a great song, but he (Mikel) actually did see his ex girlfriend in this situation. What a great song, and an amazing, rising band.
  • Dale from Cambridge, United KingdomThis song is one of THE best ever written. It is full of emotion, and memories that every guy in the world has, or will experience at some time in their life. I read the meaning of the song to be how a guy feels after several beers in a club when he sees the girl that he wants to take home with him. How he is seemlingly lead on by the woman to the extent where he, in smelling her perfume, he can already visualise her laying naked in his arms. In the end though, she accepts a drink, then disappears out of the club with someone else purposely so you see! Women eh!
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