If you've ever seen an ex with someone new and felt overwhelmed by gut-wrenching loss and loneliness, you can relate to "Sometime Around Midnight." This song is pretty much that feeling given musical form. But if you think that's a bad situation to be in, wait until you read about the absolutely awful week that The Airborne Toxic Event frontman Mike Jollett lived through, which helped inspire him to write this song. (Check out our "Meaning section to find out more about it.)
On the brighter side, this track about bad news and depression pushed an unknown band into the spotlight. Once they posted the song to the internet, fans scooped it up and passed it around. Before long, a big-time LA radio station was calling and putting "Sometime Around Midnight" on the air. And that was just the beginning: iTunes named it Song of the Year in 2008. That's quite a lot of enthusiasm and good fortune for a song about someone feeling down.
About the Song
The Airborne Toxic Event
Mikel Jollett (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Steven Chen (lead guitar, keyboards), Noah Harmon (bass), Daren Taylor (drums) and Anna Bulbrook (viola, keyboards)
The Airborne Toxic Event
Majordomo Records/Shout! Factory, then Island Records
Explore the ways this song connects with the world and with other topics on Shmoop
"Sometime Around Midnight" gives us a snapshot of a guy who's pretty bummed about losing a girl he really liked. But if this is just a piece of the story, what might happen next?
People mourning over lost love come up all the time in literature. We've got Shakespeare's Romeo, who, at the beginning Romeo and Juliet, is actually moping about a different girl – someone named Rosaline. Once Juliet's in the picture, he manages to forget about Rosaline pretty fast.
Then there's Jay Gatsby, who builds his whole life around getting his lost love Daisy back, taking most of The Great Gatsby to realize that maybe he's been chasing an illusion.
Or maybe the speaker in "Sometime Around Midnight" is destined for a happier ending: in Jane Austen's Persuasion, the main character Anne spends a lot of the novel pining away after a guy she dumped years earlier, until… well, we won't spoil it for you. Suffice it to say that we think this character created by The Airborne Toxic Event might find some better luck down the road, if he can just make it through this awful night.
On the Charts
"Sometime Around Midnight" was named Song of the Year by iTunes, 2008.
The Airborne Toxic Event were named one of the Best Bands on MySpace by Rolling Stone.
The song peaked at #4 on the Billboard Modern Rock Chart in the USA in 2008.