Study Guide

Sometime Around Midnight Introduction

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Sometime Around Midnight Introduction

In a Nutshell

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.

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

ArtistAirborne Toxic Event, The
LabelMajordomo Records/Shout! Factory, then Island Records
Writer(s)Mikel Jollett
Producer(s)Pete Min
Musician(s)Mikel Jollett (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Steven Chen (lead guitar, keyboards), Noah Harmon (bass), Daren Taylor (drums) and Anna Bulbrook (viola, keyboards)
Learn to play
AlbumThe Airborne Toxic Event

Music Video

Influenced by Airborne Toxic Event, The

Pavement (Steven Malkmus) 
Pulp (Jarvis Cocker) 
The Clash 
The Cure 
Joy Division 
The Smiths 
Classical music

Sometime Around Midnight Resources


White Noise, by Don DeLillo
The dystopian, postmodern novel that inspired the band's name.

Movies & TV

The Airborne Toxic Event on David Letterman
One of the band's first big breaks on national TV.


Official Website
Everything you need to know, brought to you straight from the band. The Airborne Toxic Event Interview
An interview with Mikel Jollet and Anna Bulbrook of The Airborne Toxic Event discussing touring, their sudden rise to success, and what direction they see the band going in the future. The Airborne Toxic Event Interview: "We're all gonna die, so let's get drunk and dance"
An interview with the band about the series of events which led to the band's formation, musical influences, and how the Internet has been a huge factor in their success.

Unrescuable Schizo: Interview with Mikel Jollett
An indie blog probes the front man with questions from his health condition to Coachella.

LiveDaily: The Airborne Toxic Event Interview
Discusses how the band was courted by major labels before settling with an Indie one.

Video & Audio

"Sometime Around Midnight" – Majordomo Version
Another video, directed by Jason Wishnow, a more literal reading of the scene in the bar with the ex-girlfriend, produced by the band's record label.

Video Playlist
Part of the band's official homepage, this offers a series of live performances and new videos for their other songs, including "Wishing Well."

VH1: Exclusive Interview
From the band's genesis to the recording of the new album.

The Airborne Toxic Event: Innocence
Black & white/acoustic, quite different from their usual sound.

"Sometime Around Midnight" - Official Video
The same one we analyze here, and the one that appears on the band's official site, newer and more metaphorical than the Majordomo version.

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