Friday, January 29, 2010

The Trials of Midlake

NPR’s Indie music blog “All Songs Considered” this week features a song from the new Midlake album The Courage of Others titled “Core of Nature”. As I anxiously made my way NPR’s Media Player, I hoped for something similar to their debut album Bamnan and Slivercork, an oddball of an album from 2004 which, despite its amateur imperfections, ultimately won me over with its charm and sincerity. However, bands rarely ever step backwards, and I doubted I would get the lo-fi indie pop and electronic sound with psychedelic undertones that marked Bamnan’s style, which you might describe as a hybrid between the full blown psychedelic synths of Black Moth Super Rainbow and the mellow songwriting and vocals of the Fruit Bats.

Instead, I expected something more along the lines of their sophomore album, The Trials of Van Occupanther, which in a sea change from poppy electronics, instead delivers a much darker acoustic sound, which I’ve heard compared to 70’s bands ranging from America to Fleetwood Mac. Trials, although generally very well received by critics, was a big disappointment for me, with the exception of the first track, “Roscoe.”

Courage, if “Core of Nature” is any indication, will continue the trend into an even darker, slower acoustic album. Below you can see the development of Midlake’s style with tracks from their first three albums, respectively.


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