The album cover for Idealism and Late June's new single "Miles Apart".
The Bigger Picture (London) — On December 4th, Idealism and Late June released a new single titled “Miles Apart”. Featuring album art by Late June himself, the single is reflective and contemplative. It features a nostalgic, looping piano melody, accompanied by ethereal vocals, a relaxing, slow-paced drum beat and an atmospheric string synth.
What really makes the track, however, is the sampled dialogue and ambient noise, a staple of Late June’s music and something that Idealism has recently been experimenting with on tracks like And Then I Woke Up. “I’ve been thinking about it a lot, recently, and I’ve been thinking that, if you’re not busy being born, you’re busy dying”, postulates a male-sounding voice on the opener of the track, before the drums and vocals kick in. Later on, ambient samples murmur in the background; cars pass by, heavy boots pound the pavement, and doors creak open. While the rest of the single is meditative and reflective, the dialogue is interesting and thought-provoking to the listener, adding a whole other dimension to the song. Late June and Idealism aren’t the first to sample dialogue and conversation in a lofi track; pioneers of the sample-heavy lofi scene, like Elijah Who, have become well known for layering dialogue over heavily sampled beats; but the dialogue, accompanied by the otherworldly vocals, and the tranquil piano melody, really escalates the track to the next level.
It is a perfect song to stream in the early hours of the morning; in which one stays up, clear-headed, reflecting and contemplating life and its deeper questions. It would certainly not be out of place in one of the “midnight vibes” lofi playlists which have become wildly popular on YouTube, and it is not a surprise that Spotify listeners have streamed Idealism for over 700,000 hours between 1 and 6am.
Late June told The Bigger Picture that the track was inspired by “an atmosphere that was made from pink skies and suburban dreams… as well as love and friendship”. He added that Idealism is an “absolutely incredible producer, musician and composer” and that he was “so grateful to have learnt from him and worked with him”. Idealism is, after all, one of the original giants of the lofi scene, bursting onto the scene with three EPs in 2017, with every single on each EP racking up millions of streams on Spotify. Even though his output has slowed slightly since then - Miles Apart was his fourth single this year - he still amassed up a staggering 121m Spotify streams this year. The Finnish producer has also announced that he will be releasing an EP next spring, titled “Sit in Silence”, with features from the Japanese guitarist Yutaka Hirasaka and the up-and-coming Japanese-American producer Singular Balance.
In short, this was a fantastic single, and there’s much to be excited about in next year’s lofi scene, which is brimming with potential and promise.