The Midway State
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The Midway State

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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Toronto Star - The Anti Hit-List"

"Never Again"

This Toronto-via-Collingwood, Ont., band has gotten a lot more polished since the chilling "Met a Man on Top of the Hill" surfaced a couple of years ago, as this tightly arranged taste of their debut full-length demonstrates. Lyrically, front man Nathan Ferraro is remarkably adept at evoking loss. Musically, this could slip among Coldplay's "Talk," U2's "New Year's Day" and Johnny Hates Jazz's "Shattered Dreams." Which is not to say it sounds precisely like any of them, only that it would be eminently compatible with all. (From Holes, out July 22, info only:

-John Sakamoto, Toronto Star June 7, 2008 - Toronto Star

"The Midway State, Holes"

(written by Derek)
The Midway State, Holes

You wouldn't think The Midway State <> (MySpace <> ) would be as good as they least, not if you let some of the information provided on the one-sheet for their upcoming debut album, Holes, influence you. First of all, they were signed to Interscope Records, those wonderful industry giants who have brought you the likes of Soulja Boy and Queens of the Stone Age, by label president Jimmy Iovine himself. Strike one. They worked with "Stevo" from SUM 41 on the video for their second single. Strike two. Finally, they recorded their album with "multi-platinum producer" Gavin Brown, best known for his work with...Three Days Grace?! Strike three--get the hell outta the....

But wait. Have you actually listened to their stuff yet?

When you do, you'll find yourself kicking yourself in the ass for letting assumptions get the better of you. The Midway State are a great band, and if Holes is any indication, they've got quite a career ahead of them and, quite frankly, I'm glad they're signed to a label as big as Interscope, because they deserve to be widely heard. The world of mainstream pop/rock is in desperate need of an infusion of good, solid music that is both palatable to a wide range of listeners but is still creative and full of heart. The Midway State bring a refreshing shower of good ol' rock-n'-roll rich in melodies and sensitive lyrics to the desert of pop radio, but still evince enough "indie cred" in their music to attract the SXSW crowd.

In 2001, while still in highschool in Collingwood, Ontario, pianist/frontman Nathan Ferraro and longtime friend and drummer Daenan Bramberger teamed up with bassist Adam Beamish and guitarist Ryan Horning to form Midway State. After an inaugural tour that drew some well-earned attention, the four fellas moved to Toronto in hopes of Making It Big. After being noticed by producer Gavin Brown, the band replaced Beamish and Horning "after much debate" (read that however you like) with bassist Mike Kirsh and guitarist Michael Wise. The group then set out refining their sound, touring, and producing two EPs, 2006's Eponymous and 2007's Met a Man on Top of the Hill, the latter of which featured their first single, the incredibly radio-friendly "Change For You." Considering their history, it's very tempting to think of the band as just another "made for radio" Future One-Hit Wonder. But Holes, the band's first full-length album (which also features "Change For You"), is a legitimately good album that proves the praise the band's EPs have earned is more than warranted.

Vocalist and pianist Ferraro freely admits that he loves Coldplay and Snow Patrol (as well as Peter Gabriel, Cat Stevens, and even Carole King), and Holes captures the piano-driven sound of Coldplay's A Rush of Blood to the Head without sounding derivative. In fact, though the Coldplay influence is obvious, The Midway State's sound is clearly inspired by the dramatic songwriting of the afforementioned Cat Steves and Carole King, and as such has a prominent '70s pop-rock feel to it--a sound familiar to fans of bands like Rooney and the Pernice Brothers. Each song is primarily built around lead melodies courtesy of Ferraro's expert piano riffs and Wise's catchy guitar lines, but regardless of the slick basslines and rockin' beats, Ferraro's gorgeous baritone voice and tender, personable lyrics are the main attractions, especially in songs like album-opener "Never Again" and the positively-beautiful "Nobody Understands." For some strange reason, I've heard The Midway State called emo...and though their songs are indeed built around melodies and lyrics that carry a lot of emotion (which gives them that magic authenticity that ensures listeners will relate to them on a personal level and therefore take them into their hearts), there is none of the overwrought hysteria and whiny melodrama that defines "emo" evident in even the album's most heavy-hearted numbers, "Nobody Understands"--which quite literally explains every relationship I've ever been in--and "Can't Stop Waking Up To You." Instead of crocodile tears and teenage poetry, Ferraro's lyrics capture the same artful truth of Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes," which is something that everyone from lovelorn teenagers to twice-married adults can identify with.

In fact, after listening to this album, I've become a fan of Gavin Brown's production despite his association with Three Days Grace. This is a perfectly-produced album. Unlike Coldplay's A Rush of Blood to the Head, the piano leads do not sound weak and badly-EQed, but have the same robust sound you'd expect to hear live. The drums mesh seamlessly with the basslines, and the guitars are pristine. Best of all, Ferraro's vocals are always crystal-clear in the mix without dominating the music.

All-in-all, this is simply a great album that has songs to match every mood. I highly recommend it.

Oh, and here's a little interesting fact about the band: Nathan Ferraro, like me, is synaesthetic--that is, he hears colors and sees sounds. Says Ferraro, "Every song that really resonates with me comes coupled with a distinct colour palette. When I listen to any song on Holes I see a different shade. 'Nobody Understands' is dark rose red, 'Never Again' is a saturated royal blue. At least, I think so...the irony is I'm also red-green color blind, so who knows really!" Well, sir, you're absolutely right: "Nobody Understands" is indeed a lush, velvety red (shot through with tones of deep blue generated by the introductory synth-pad melody) and "Never Again" is definitely a deep blue, though my brain sees the lead guitar riff as a scintillant rusty orange. Needless to say, this is a great album for synaesthetes: the color/sound texture varies widely from song to song, which adds an extra dimension of pleasure for those of us with crosswired brains!

The Midway State are currently touring Canada, but will also be playing two dates in the United Kingdom this August. Check 'em out!

Jul 18 2008 8:00P Ed Fest -w- Collective Soul Edmonton, Alberta

Jul 24 2008 8:00P Les Saints -w- Missy Higgins Montreal, Quebec

Aug 5 2008 8:00P Sudbury Arena -w- Avril Lavigne Sudbury, Ontario

Aug 6 2008 8:00P Molson Amphitheatre -w- Avril Lavigne Toronto, Ontario

Aug 16 2008 8:00P V-Fest UK Staffordshire, UK

Aug 17 2008 8:00P V-Fest UK Chelmsford, UK

Sep 6 2008 1:00P V-Fest @ Toronto Island Toronto, Ontario


Met A Man On Top Of The Hill - EP - 2007

Never Again - July 14, 2008 (iTunes free single of the
week in Canada)

Holes - LP - July 22, 2008

The first single from Holes, Never Again, is in its first few weeks of college radio, and has been very successful so far with over 20 stations having added in under two weeks! The commercial radio campaign is just starting this week, however several stations across have already independently added the single.

We expect video and commercial radio stats to start coming in in the next few weeks.

Myspace Canada is currently featuring the band's album premiere, and all 12 tracks from the album are streaming from from July 22nd to July 24th



Sometimes to get noticed you have to leave a place that’s comfortable for unfamiliar territory. Nathan Ferraro, lead singer, songwriter and pianist for THE MIDWAY STATE learned that lesson when he was just 16: “I have my dad to thank for it really, he bought us the van,” says Ferraro.

Keys to a $2,000 Chevy Beauville in hand, THE MIDWAY STATE ditched the prospect of summer jobs and left their little ski town two hours north of Toronto to trek all the way across the continent playing shows for anyone who would have them. “We played everywhere booking our own gigs,” says Nathan. They performed in biker bars, living rooms, coffee shops, and even the odd club when they got lucky. “We played with hardcore bands, emo bands, pretty much everything under the sun - we were always the first of five acts on a bill.” The guys slept in their van, ate dried noodles and granola bars and relied on new friends for showers and the occasional couch.

Nathan, the eldest of eight children, was always encouraged to develop his talent. “My parents saw that the only thing I did was write and play music,” he says. “By the time I was 15 I had this thing going where I challenged myself to write a song a day, I’ve still got boxes and boxes of tapes from those days. When I was younger I thought I wanted to be a doctor, but at one point I had to admit to myself that the only option for me in life was music. This is it for me. The day I realized that, I dropped out of University before my first day had even begun and I’ve been focused on this ever since.”

So instead of becoming Dr. Ferraro, as soon as Nathan was out of high school (where he won the excellence in music scholarship), he picked up and moved to Toronto with his best friend Daenen. “We stayed in an apartment for $75 a month each with two old band mates. There were four of us in bunk beds in one room,” he says, “but we knew it was where we had to be to move forward.” His instincts were right. In time their demo fell into the hands of multi-platinum, award winning producer Gavin Brown. Things clicked and THE MIDWAY STATE was soon recording their first EP, the well-received Met a Man on Top the Hill.

A few months after the EP was done, the band’s indie video found its way to a few US A&R people and ignited a spark. “That’s when everything changed. It wasn’t too long before we found ourselves talking with Jimmy Iovine about his work with artists like John Lennon and U2,” recalls Nathan. “You have to understand… where I grew up we had no cable TV, no internet. My house was so remote we didn’t even have a proper address. Before those trips Daenen and I had never even been on a plane or seen a palm tree. It was nuts. I feel blessed. We were very lucky”.

On their upcoming piano-driven pop/rock debut album, Holes (Remedy/ Interscope), Brown is once again in the producer’s seat. Recorded in the outskirts of Toronto at the legendary Metalworks Studios (David Bowie and Tina Turner laid down tracks there), Holes glistens with refined melodies, raw emotion and massive sing-a-long hooks.

Perhaps the band’s rich pop tapestry has something to do with Nathan’s synaesthesia, a condition roughly defined as an overlapping of the senses. Put simply, Nathan sees distinct colors when hearing sounds and music. “Every song that really resonates with me comes coupled with a distinct color palette. When I listen to any song on Holes I see a different shade,” says Nathan. “‘Nobody Understands” is dark rose red, “Never Again’’ is a saturated royal blue. At least I think so,” he laughs, “the irony is I’m also red-green color blind, so who knows really!”

What truly sets THE MIDWAY STATE (which includes original member Daenen Bramberger, as well as newer additions guitarist Michael Wise and bassist Michael Kirsh) apart from so many artists is the band’s reliance on piano. “It’s such a good instrument to write on when you’re by yourself because it just sounds so big and lush,” explains Nathan. “The songs were all written on the piano so it plays a really important role in our sound.

As with Ferraro’s poetic lyrics, THE MIDWAY STATE’S musical influences are hard to pinpoint. Their sound is a unique concoction of assured songwriting built on Ferraro’s admiration of classic, gimmick-free artists. There is tenderness that runs through Holes that can arguably be attributed to Nathan’s earliest influences. “Carole King is my all-time favorite. I just fell in love with the way she crafts her songs,” he says. “Growing up, I listened to everything from Cat Stevens and Dire Straits to Neil Young and Peter Gabriel. I also love Coldplay, Snow Patrol. I just love music really. Whatever gets to me, it has nothing to do with genres and everything to do with the songs.”

Ferraro’s touring history reflects that appreciation for all types of music. Over the last year, THE MIDWAY STATE has played with a diverse range of artists from dramatic stylist Mika to the rootsy Rocco DeLuca & The Burden. “So