Midnight North Releases New Single ‘Coyote’ & Announces Terrapin Crossroads Concert

By Scott Bernstein Apr 2, 2021 8:49 am PDT

Midnight North‘s Elliott Peck wrote and is featured on “Coyote,” the band’s latest single. “Coyote” is the final track from the group’s upcoming There's Always A Story album to drop before the LP comes out via Bandcamp on May 7.

Additionally, Midnight North confirmed their return to Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, California. The quartet will play a socially distanced outdoor concert at Terrapin Crossroads’ Beach Park on Sunday, April 18. Tickets are on sale now through the venue’s website.

The 10-track follow-up to 2017’s Under The Lights was co-produced with David-Simon Baker. Midnight North — consisting of Peck, Connor O’Sullivan, Nathan Graham and Grahame Lesh — recorded the bulk of There’s Always A Story at San Francisco’s Allegiant Studios before completing work on the LP remotely at home studios after the pandemic began.

“Coyote” features Jason Crosby on violin and Dave Eggar on cello. Grahame Lesh, Nathan Graham, Allison Russell and JT Nero contributed backing vocals.

Read a note penned by Elliott regarding “Coyote”:

I wrote the beginning lyrics for Coyote while on a cross country flight last year, when life was busy and there was rarely a day off to spend home writing. I was looking out the airplane window thinking about Joni Mitchell’s song Coyote, and the imagery and storyline of one of my favorite songs of her’s. I was also thinking about what the word ‘Coyote’ meant in a different context, one that touches on the current events on our US border, and the families and children who are deeply tangled in the mess of our immigration system.

As a former English as a Second Language teacher in the Mission district of San Francisco, I witnessed countless children arriving on the steps of our school unaccompanied, with only the clothes on their backs and needing the most basic essentials. They had come from long distances to find safety and opportunity, but lived in fear of deportation, poverty, and of creating a life in a new country alone.

This song touches on the illusive middle man in the equation, the Coyote, who has accepted the danger and responsibility of bringing people across the border for payment. It also brings to mind a question I have long wrestled with as a teacher and advocate for migrant children & families:

Are we truly afraid, in this great country of prosperity and wealth, that we do not have enough to share with our neighbors, simply because they are not the ones that live next door but on the other side of an invisible line? I realize the issue is complex and there is no easy solution, but I do know things have not improved in many years, and we can do better. I plan to donate my portion of sales from this song to: KIND – Kids in Need of Defense, a non profit organization that supports & ensures children’s rights and well-being are protected as they migrate alone in search of safety.

I knew the music for this song had to match the intensity and sensitivity of the lyrics. So I asked my dear friend & colleague Jason Crosby to help arrange a string section for the song that would provide that. Jason coordinated the connection with Dave Eggar to create the cello section, while adding the moving violin parts layered on top.

I cried the first time I heard the final string arrangement, I instantly knew it was perfect and so beautifully helped tell the story of this song. My bandmates brought a gorgeous feel & simplicity to the recording, and Grahame, Nathan, & guest vocalists Allison Russell & JT Nero’s harmonies give the song an otherworldly quality. I feel the music supports and showcases the message of the song, and I hope that it elicits thoughts, feelings, conversation and action.

Listen to Midnight North’s “Coyote” below:

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