Midwife is Madeline Johnston, the Denver musician who makes a dreamy, gauzy, cathartic form of music that she calls heaven metal. Last year, Midwife released a gorgeous album called Luminol, which featured what must be the prettiest Offspring cover of all time. Since then, Johnston has collaborated with Drowse, Kathryn Mohr, and her former tourmates Nothing, and she’s also covered Chevelle. Today, we get a new Midwife song.
The softly sprawling new track “Sickworld” lasts for nearly seven minutes. On the track, Johnston sings in a muffled whisper over a quiet, hypnotic guitar figure and a few impressionistic strings. It’s a minimal piece of music, a bit like a slightly less vaporous take on Grouper, and it’s also lovely. On the “Sickworld” Bandcamp page, Johnston says this:
I started collecting globes. “Sickworld” was written in late 2021, during a long, cold winter. The world is sick. I’m coming down with it. I wanted to relate the unrest and ailments experienced externally with the general malaise I had been feeling emotionally for a long time. The lyrics are a culmination of festering thoughts I was carrying around, and digestible pieces of larger ideas like faith, sobriety, and death. It is also largely about being homesick for another time. Timesick. But this is being homesick for a place you can never return to, because it doesn’t exist. The world is sick, it needs medicine. This song is about healing.
Listen to “Sickworld” below.
“Sickworld” is out now on Hardly Art, and you can get it at Bandcamp.