The slinky, mysterious, cinematic music of Midnight Sister is brought to you by the isolating landscape of the San Fernando Valley — its colors, its diners, its lunatics, its neon lights. The duo of Juliana Giraffe and Ari Balouzian, lifelong residents of this storied valley, have only become more inspired by the area’s mythology over the years, it’s two-faced magical wonderland and tragic circus.
Giraffe, 23, daughter of an LA disc jockey, was raised almost exclusively on disco and David Bowie. Her lyrics and lyrical melodies were composed gazing out from a tiny retail window on Sunset Boulevard. Her Rear Window-like longing allowed her imagination to run wild and cook up the wild narratives that would fill Balouzian’s compositions.
Balouzian, 27, classically trained and already a go-to arranger for odd-pop names like Tobias Jesso Jr. and Alex Izenberg, is inspired by the immersive, almost visual language of Stravinsky and Ravel as much as the cinematic jeu d’esprit of Altman’s Brewster McCloud and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch Drunk Love. Their shared musical vision of LA is the ominous alley you must enter to have the speakeasy night of your life.