Indie pick of the week: AfterMidnight

By Stephanie Sokol »

An emotional and reflective sound is what Oklahoma band AfterMidnight delivers to listeners’ ears. Lyrics filled with hopeful depth about life and love layer over strong instrumentals to produce music reminiscent of John Mayer, Neon Trees, The Lumineers and One Republic.

Vocalist and guitarist Ashkan Karimi, electric guitarist Austin Donoho, bassist Patrick O'Meilia and Ben Blount  on drums and keyboard are the men behind Oklahoma alternative rock band Aftermidnight.

Vocalist and guitarist Ashkan Karimi, electric guitarist Austin Donoho,
bassist Patrick O’Meilia and
Ben Blount on drums and keyboard are the men behind Oklahoma alternative rock band AfterMidnight. COURTESY PHOTO

“Our music has a lot of passion, energy, and meaning,” Karimi said. “We all work at putting a lot of thought into the writing process, and we all tend to keep an open mind and play to each others’ strengths, while working at becoming better.”

Formed in 2011, the folksy alternative pop-rock group draws influence from a wide variety of artists, including Led Zeppelin, Switchfoot, Radiohead and U2, some of their favorites.

Guitarist and vocalist Ashkan Karimi, of Tulsa, Oklahoma could be seen as the band’s founder. While working on a solo project, he initially brought on guitarist Austin Donoho, and AfterMidnight formed as bassist Patrick O’Meilia and drummer-keyboardist Ben Blount later joined in on the music. They performed their first show on New Year’s Day of 2012, and have been recording music and playing gigs since.

“Musical influences aside, a lot of influence of the song writing comes from life experiences,” Karimi said. “Whether they’re good or bad experiences, we always tend to find the positive in it – the Hope & Love in it all.”

With songs written by Karimi, AfterMidnight’s self-titled EP “AfterMidnight” is upbeat, light and very vocal.

The group released their second, four-song EP “Luminous” in November

Photo/Aftermidnight

Photo/AfterMidnight

2013. The album is deeper, described by Karimi as love songs with more themes mixed in.

“We talk about the things some people don’t want to talk about when it comes to life and love – the harder times – but we do so in order to begin to tell the story that this EP is leading into – if life is always sad or always happy then it’s just boring…the best parts of life are usually the ups that come after the downs,” Karimi said. “You can’t appreciate the good times without the bad, and it makes you realize how worth living life really is.”

Unlike their first EP, the creativity behind “Luminous” was a collaborative effort by the band. Karimi said writing together helped the band grow closer, working together to come up with the finished product.

Album title-track “Luminous” was written as a metaphor, comparing a glowing sunset to falling in love, focusing on the idea that the sun and moon do not get to remain in the sky simultaneously.

“Whenever the sun sets, the moon comes out, and vice versa…they never get to share the sky with each other for too long,” Karimi said. “It’s kind of like when you love someone and they love you but it never quite works out, but there’s that one moment where things line up and love just works. Ultimately, the song is a hopeful song and it’s about a lover finally making his way to someone he has loved for a very, very long time.”

AfterMidnight has performed at venues in Tulsa, in addition to the Kansas City, Missouri area. They will be expanding their tour to larger neighboring cities in the near future.

“We want our music to be something that (people) can put on for many years to come and be something they can enjoy, and maybe even something that can help them at the different seasons in their lives,” Karimi said.

“Veneer” from the band’s self-titled EP.

Acoustic performances of songs from album “Luminous.”

For more AfterMidnight, visit their website, follow then on Twitter @AftermidnightAM, or like the group on Facebook.

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Editor-in-Chief; www.stephanieannsokol.com; www.lifesacupoftea.com; sasokol92@gmail.com