On her new LP ForeverMidwife combines ambient and dream pop into nuanced, reverb-soaked music that is equal parts haunting and moving. The album is informed by Denver-based multi-instrumentalist Madeline Johnston’s experiences during + post-Rhinoceroplis, a local venue/co-op where she lived until 2016, when its doors were shuttered due to high tensions surrounding the safety of DIY spaces (not coincidentally following the Ghost Ship tragedy in Oakland).  Residents were displaced around Denver and artists like Midwife were forced to start over.

It was at Rhinoceropolis that Madeline became close with Colin Ward, an artistic confidant and friend to whom her new album, Forever, is dedicated.  Madeline comments, “He was my roommate and was the embodiment of that place [Rhinoceropolis] in a lot of ways. We became really close friends there. I was always learning so much from him, about life and being an artist. He was an amazing teacher and friend to me.”  When Ward passed away unexpectedly in 2018, she turned towards sound to express the indescribable feelings that partnered with her grief and these mournful sounds ultimately developed into her new album, Forever.

Read the new interview with Midwife + listen to Forever now via The FADER.

The 6-song LP is a latticework of soft focus guitars and precise melodies– anthems of light piercing through gray clouds of drone. On the track “C.R.F.W.,” we hear Colin Ward reading a poem that speaks of a leaf falling from a tree in autumn: “imagine the way a breeze feels against your leaf body while you finally don’t have to hold on anymore.” Johnston responds with slowly radiating tones, branches stretching out to hold the leaf one last time.  “I wanted to write him a letter. I wanted to make something for him in his memory,” Madeline says of Forever.

Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Midwife had to cancel her upcoming tour dates, which included a full U.S. tour and an appearance at Roadburn Festival in the Netherlands.  In celebration of her record release, Midwife will perform live on Facebook on April 17th at 7pm EST.

Look for Forever to be in stores and online on April 10th via The Flenser + stay tuned for more from Midwife coming soon.

Forever track listing:

1. 2018

2. Anyone Can Play Guitar

3. Vow

4. Language

5. C.R.F.W.

6. S.W.I.M.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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