Lightspeed Champion - Midnight Surprise

Louise Evans 17/10/2007

Rating: 3/5

Not many artists risk deviating from the usual 3 or 4 minutes track for single releases; yet with this second single, Lightspeed Champion (aka Dev ex-Test Icicles) has chosen to throw caution to the wind and go with 'Midnight Surprise' which clocks in just under ten minutes. Taking a completely different approach to that of his previous band, Lightspeed Champion's sound comes from a mixture of gentle indie pop with acoustic country rock. 'Midnight Surprise' works as a great introduction to this sound before the release of 2008's LP Falling Off The Lavender Bridge.

Split into three parts, 'Midnight Surprise' references video game The Legend Of Zelda, his own stage name and feelings of sexual frustration. The numerous twists and turns contained in the track are more than enough to hold the interest of listeners and thus the track never seems to drag. The dreamlike feel of the song is increased by the beautiful harmonies provided in part by a host of backing singers including Emmy The Great and members of Tilly & The Wall. Further risks are taken with b-side track 'Flesh Failures (Let The Sunshine In)' from the musical Hair. What could have been cheesy and overly theatrical is in these hands a pretty, joyful track with layers of vocals adding a gospel feel. The whole release has a dreamlike beauty which should enchant many listeners and may come as a shock to those whose opinion of Dev is solely based on his past band.