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Midnight Sister – the project of intense creatives Juliana Giraffe and Ari Balouzian – is brought to you by the isolating landscape of the San Fernando Valley – its colours, its diners, its lunatics, its neon lights. Both lifelong residents of this storied valley, Giraffe and Balouzian have only become more inspired by the area's mythology over the years, its two-faced magical wonderland and tragic circus. And Saturn Over Sunset works almost as an album version of Altman's Shortcuts, each song a character study of the valley's odd personae.
“The album culminated into what felt like an interesting movie of dramatized characters that were around us for that period of time,” said Giraffe, a filmmaker who’s done everything from music video to bizarro art films. “I'd write about people close to me, about friends I'd make living on the streets in Echo Park, about glimpses of people I saw and wish I knew. Everyone comes from somewhere and has a story. That's a big part of the music we're trying to get across. Appreciating all types of characters, however strange and off-putting they can be at times, and perhaps glorifying the crevices in life that seem mundane.”
Giraffe, 23, the daughter of an LA disc jockey, was raised almost exclusively on disco and Bowie. Her lyrics and lyrical melodies, informed very much by her film-making background, were composed gazing out from a tiny retail window on Sunset Boulevard. Her Rear Window-like longing allowed her imagination to run wild and cook up the wild narratives that would fill Balouzian's compositions. Balouzian, 27, is classically trained and already a go-to arranger for odd-pop names like Tobias Jesso Jr. and Alex Izenberg. Midnight Sister represents a first for both of them. It's Giraffe's first time writing and performing music. And it's Balouzian's first foray into playing true pop music.
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