Singapore-based blues-rock artist Sanjay Michael recently dropped his single, “Rocking Into Midnight,” the title track from his forthcoming album, slated to drop on July 7.
Talking about the upcoming album, Sanjay says, “I sought to recreate the kind of ‘monster’ albums that I listened to when I was younger – a large collection of hit singles that were carefully curated and arranged so that the album was a journey in itself. I worked with both the keys and the sonic textures of each song so that as you listen through, each new song is a pleasant surprise.”
He goes on, “The use of tube amplifiers will distinguish this album from a lot of other rock offerings out there because a lot of artists want to use emulators or simulators to explore their palate. But for me the formula is set – a Les Paul through a 100w Marshall, just like the first time I heard Def Leppard’s ‘Hysteria.’ So with this locked in, a lot of the creativity comes from playing with different techniques, using varying dynamics, and so on… When you’re committed to the sound, the foundation of the album is strong.”
Sanja grew up in Malaysia and Australia, places full of wonder and grand beauty. Yet it was rock and roll music that opened the door to another world. Playing music led to jamming in grimy bars and recording in professional studios. And while he loved covering the classics and being part of the local music community, he felt rock and roll music was becoming a bit stagnant. When the pandemic hit, he shifted to writing his own songs.
Speaking about “Rocking Into Midnight,” Sanjay shares, “I simply wanted a big, catchy song! The main riff came around as most of my songs do – from fooling around with my main songwriting guitar, a Yamaha acoustic that I keep handy in the living room… When I think I’m onto something sweet I just experiment around it until I get something I think will work. The solos were kept short and sweet here.”
“Rocking Into Midnight” rolls out on sleek, powerful guitar riffs riding a straight-forward potent rhythm. Sanjay’s relaxed yet tight vocals imbue the lyrics with captivating tones. On the chorus, the harmonics ramp up to wall-of-sound textures, thick with growling surfaces.
A brief, drum-filled bridge introduces the solo section, highlighted by taut, incandescent licks, dripping with blues rock fire.
Harking back to the heady days of ‘80s rock, with a modern twist, “Rocking Into Midnight” conveys tasty layers of terrific rock and roll.