(Photo by David McDonald)

Midnight Shine is made up of four musicians that are rooted from the isolated community of Attawapiskat, in the far north of Canada. They started out as a band by chance, after front person Adrian Sutherland was offered the opening spot to open for the band Trooper. He gathered the other members together and the rest is history. 

The band mixes rock with touches of Mushkegowuk Cree in their music. Nothing demonstates this more as their cover of Neil Young’s Heart of Gold, which was a track from their album High Road released in 2018 via Midnight Shine Music. Now the band is set to bring their music to Europe. On September 21st, the band will be playing at the Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg, Germany. 

We wanted to find out a little more about the band so we asked them to pick three albums that have influenced them and their music. Adrian Sutherland replied with the following three picks.

For links to their music and to find out more about the band check out their webpage here: https://midnightshineonline.com/

Bruce Springsteen – Born In The USA

I listened to this album a lot as I was growing up, and still revisit it often. I’m also reading the book Born to Run, and just watched a great documentary about Bruce Springsteen, too. His story about how the East Street Band started reminds me of some of the things I’m going through now with my band Midnight Shine, when it comes to the business side of things. He also talks about the importance of doing what you do best, and once he realized he wasn’t going to be the best musician out there, he made it his goal to become the best songwriter he could. I can really relate to that, because I’m not the best guitar player, or the best keyboard player, or the best singer… but I do feel like one of my strongest traits is songwriting, so I’ve been making that my goal. His story inspires me to want to become the best songwriter I can be.

The Killers Sam’s Town

 I’ve been listening to The Killers for a while now, and the album I like best is Sam’s Town. These days when I’m listening to songs, I’m not only listening to lyrics, but also I’m listening to the music and different textures of the songs. I really like the way they treat their songs, and the colour they put into them. I also like some of their lyrics, for example, the song ‘For Reasons Unknown’ – the lyrics are simple, but also complex and clever in how they are structured. I’ve always wanted to put out music like they do. As I’m moving more into songwriting and creating new music, I’d like to take a similar approach not only musically, but lyrically. I’d like to put out songs that speak to people, the way The Killers’ songs do. 

The War On Drugs A Deeper Understanding

I first discovered this band at the SKOOKUM Festival in Vancouver (September 2018). I performed there with my band Midnight Shine on Saturday afternoon, and later that evening, one of the bands on the Main Stage was The War On Drugs. Their music caught my attention right away, and as I watched their show and listened to the songs, I realized I can also relate to many of their lyrics – about feeling pain, being knocked down, being strong, holding on to hope. Some of the music I’ve written has similar themes, so I really connected with their music. It speaks to me, and takes me on a bit of a journey. It also reminds me of more nostalgic times. That’s how it makes me feel.

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