MIDLAKE return in February 2010 with their much-anticpated third album: “The Courage Of Others”

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One of Bella Union’s most successful and celebrated acts – MIDLAKE – make their long-awaited return in February 2010 with “THE COURAGE OF OTHERS”, their extraordinary third album…

It’s ironic that Midlake’s new album is titled “The Courage Of Others” because, if anything, the courage is all theirs. Namely, the courage to do what feels right and stay true to the spirit of artistic independence whilst ignoring any pressure to conform to expectations. The result is the Texas quintet’s third album, their most complete and beautiful body of work yet, best appreciated as a whole in the old-fashioned sense of an album – which makes perfect sense when you know Midlake linchpin Tim Smith’s fondness for the look and feel of past times.

So what’s changed since The Trials of Van Occupanther, their second, hugely loved breakthrough album? Just as that record was in part inspired by the soft(er) rock of the early-to-mid 1970s – from Neil Young and America to Fleetwood Mac – so Midlake’s new album also looks to a slightly earlier, and definitely British, trad-tainted folk sound. It may share the same gorgeously analogue-warm electro-acoustic template as Van Occupanther but it’s a slower, darker and more carved record, both eerier and dreamier. Perfect, in other words, for its February release date, at the height of winter.

Neither do the new songs feature any hermit-scientists like Van Occupanther, or the mythical Roscoe. The songs that constitute The Courage Of Others, Tim says, are closer to his heart than those of their first two albums because, “I don’t feel I’m looking at the songs through someone else’s eyes. I’ve tried to keep it as true to myself as I could.” Guitarist Eric Pulido adds, “We didn’t want to make the same album as Van Occupanther, so we carried on moving and creating and pushing for a newer sound and emotion.”

The Courage Of Others” is released on Bella Union records on 1st February 2010. Track-listing below…

Acts of Man

Winter Dies

Small Mountain

Core of Nature

Fortune

Rulers, Ruling All Things

Children of the Grounds

Bring Down

The Horn

The Courage of Others

In The Ground

Press acclaim for “The Trials of Van Occupanther”…

“The songwriting is rich, delivering an almost hallucinatory mix of pianos, horns, guitars and painfully wistful reminisces… One of 2006’s best.”

The Guardian – 4 Stars ****

“It’s so rare for an album to come from nowhere and sound as if it has existed for ever, but Midlake’s extraordinary second release is just such a gem. This deserves to become a major word-of-mouth hit.”

Evening Standard – 4 Stars ****

“This unimpeachable record is a part-pastoral, part-rock curiosity, with trace elements of Neil Young, America and Grandaddy. All exquisitely sung and played, and as with Sufjan Stevens’ “Illinoise”, we’re dealing with an invigorating, many-faceted work of diverse instrumentation and durability.”

MOJO – 4 Stars ****

“Skilfully textured and beautifully written… Fans of Flaming Lips, Wilco and Grandaddy should get it immediately. And fall in love.”

WORD

“This Texas quintet could fill the gap left by Grandaddy. It’s all here: the dreamy folk-rock, the sadly stoical laments for the simple life progressleaves behind, the gentle and pastoral shadings. Mapping the territory between Neil Young and Mercury Rev, their warm, charming and wistful second album seems to glow from within.”

The Independent (Information) – 4 Stars ****

“Texans Midlake deliver on their gorgeous, escapist second album – an organic, pastoral thrill that updates 1970s Fleetwood Mac and Crosby, Stills and Nash for a new generation. Classic, elegant songwriting.”

Metro – 4 Stars *****

“Midlake seek to uncover the spiritual magic hidden beneath the veneer of everyday life… Singer-songwriter Tim Smith imbues his songs with a beguiling mystery. The results recall the genial eccentricity of Van Dyke Parks”

The Independent – 4 Stars ****

“This is one of those rare albums that comes out of nowhere and knocks your socks off! Midlake combine warm West Coast harmony rock with the wonder and mystery associated with sonic explorers like The Flaming Lips. Exquisite.”

The Sun – 5 Stars *****

“The Trials of Van Occupanther is a bona fide classic, a record that unites Mercury Rev-styled psyche eccentricity with smooth rock’n’soul. Out on the ever-inspiring Bella Union, its very existence makes the world seem a better place”.

NME – 8/10

“Midlake make music descended directly from the golden era of American folk: the prairie-wide melodies and plaintive harmonies of Fleetwood Mac and Neil Young… This rocks.”

The Telegraph

“this is a collection of songs that will never sound dated, because they absolutely exist outside of the cycles of trends and fashions… incredibly engrossing”

Drowned In Sound – 8/10

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One Response

  1. Am BEYOND excited about this album!! Van Occupanter is one of my all time faves….

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