Sunday, June 28, 2009

Midlake - The Trials of Van Occupanther

Here's a band I listen to an awful lot. Name is Midlake and they're from a small town in Tex. Specifically, their album The Trials of Van Occupanther is what I'm about here. Great album. I'll tell you this right off the bat, here: I'm a sucker for sweet melody, and that's what you get from these guys. Nothing trite, nothing very derivative. Acoustic, mostly. The lead singer's voice is mesmerizing, especially when it's layered over itself a couple times in harmony. He's got a subtle tinge in there that just drives me wild.

The songs are mellow. Good reading music. There's nothing here that will jump out at you; everything flows smoothly, coherent. Sometimes I find myself wanting a little more energy out of them, but that wouldn't be quite right, frankly. The songs are designed, and nothing feels out of place. It's still loose, though. No Autotune, no pointless interludes, no gimmicks. Very fresh.

As for lyrics, the imagery is what's important. No love songs here. Great delivery and not much vocal finesse and you're given kind of an atmosphere. I have no idea what the title song is about--see if you can puzzle through it. But really, nothing too complicated. Just scenes and ideas.

Listen and let this music take you where it wants to go. Pay attention to melody lines and little nuances. Let a few lyrics drop into your consciousness here and there but otherwise treat the vocals as a part of the whole. Repeat "Roscoe", "Head Home", and "Young Bride" a couple times if you really want to see what's up.

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