The jazzy sway of a muted percussion is met with brooding, smoky vocals that penetrate the speakers and make their way directly into our hearts in the new single “My Light” from burgeoning indie star Sonja Midtune. Anyone familiar with Midtune’s work knows that she doesn’t cut any corners when it comes time to forging an original new song, and “My Light” is no different. In the single and its supporting video, we’re enveloped in the brightest of melodies that fights its way to the surface through an elegiac arrangement to impart an evocative optimism that softens the blow of the song’s ominous grooves. The rigidity of the strings is broken up by the fluidity of the lyricism, which is delivered by Midtune in the swankiest performance she’s committed to tape so far. Though the beach-based imagery of the video is spellbinding and inspirational, it pales in comparison to the substance of the song itself, which ranks among the most subtly multidimensional of any single I’ve heard in 2019. This is the most mature sound we’ve heard from Sonja Midtune, and it arrives at a time primed for an artist of her creative stature to take control of a weary scene.

In making a video for “My Life,” Midtune went out of her way to make sure that the visuals were as dreamlike and cerebral as her lyrical content is, and in the end she did a fine job of making a thoroughly accessible and sharply designed finished product. By not adding any spoken word to the video and keeping the music at center stage, “My Light” is reborn in five minutes of urbane cinema that truly captures all of the rich emotions in the single.


The visual quick-cuts are synchronized with the shifts in the song, tethering what we’re seeing to what we’re hearing at the same time, and though the lyrics are clean and clear in the master mix, we don’t have to rely on their imagistic prose alone to get a pretty good idea of what Midtune was feeling when she composed the track. This is surrealism on overdrive, but it isn’t as pretentious as other similarly stylized videos I’ve seen before.

“My Light” is one of the most attractively produced and smoothly constructed pop songs of the young New Year, and it isn’t solely because of the signature harmony that overtakes its chorus so exquisitely. Sonja Midtune has refined her style a great deal over the last few years, and though this is as reverent and self-aware as what we’ve heard from her in records like Post Love and Live from Universal Mastering Studios, her sound is undeniably more complete and gripping here. She’s come a long way in an incredibly short time, and despite the fact that she’s not quite the household name that she’s capable of becoming, this is easily the most radio-ready tone we’ve heard from her thus far. “My Light” doesn’t ask anything from listeners in return for a smorgasbord of emotionally-charged musical magic that it rewards us with, and though it’s not Midtune’s first release, the buzz it’s garnering will undoubtedly introduce her to a much larger audience at home and abroad.


Sebastian Cole