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MIDLAKE

Prog Folk • United States


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Midlake biography
Something of a throwback band from Denton, Texas, MIDLAKE originally formed as a group of like-minded college jazz/funk students under the name THE CORNBREAD ALL-STARS. They eventually evolved to playing original tunes heavily influenced by seventies progressive and art-rock bands.

The band first gained popularity in Europe, touring extensively and playing numerous music festivals before signing to Simon Raymonde and Robin Guthrie's (COCTEAU TWINS) label Bella Union. The band has since released an EP, three studio albums and a collection of sixties/seventies rock, psych and folk covers.

>> Bio by Bob Moore (aka ClemofNazareth) <<

Midlake official website

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MIDLAKE Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy MIDLAKE Music


Trials of Van OccupantherTrials of Van Occupanther
Nova Posta Vinyl 2014
Vinyl$23.57
Courage of Others [Vinyl]Courage of Others [Vinyl]
Bella Union 2010
Vinyl$15.58
$12.89 (used)
AntiphonAntiphon
ATO Records 2013
Audio CD$5.97
$4.32 (used)
Midlake: Live in Denton, TX Vinyl 12Midlake: Live in Denton, TX Vinyl 12" (Record Store Day)
ATO
Vinyl$21.99
Young BrideYoung Bride
Single · Import
Bella Union 2006
Audio CD$47.88
$19.39 (used)
Milkmaid Grand ArmyMilkmaid Grand Army
EP
Nova Posta Vinyl 2015
Audio CD$35.49
$3.07 (used)
Late Night TalesLate Night Tales
Night Time Stories 2011
Audio CD$7.64
$6.40 (used)
Bamnan & SlivercorkBamnan & Slivercork
Bella Union Records/Redeye 2006
Audio CD$3.91
$1.85 (used)
Trials of Van Occupanther-LimitedTrials of Van Occupanther-Limited
Import
Phantom Sound & Vision 2006
Audio CD$59.61
$34.99 (used)
Am I Going InsaneAm I Going Insane
Special Edition
Late Night Tales 2011
Vinyl$2.95
$20.10 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
MIDLAKE - ANTIPHON (LP+CD+POSTER) 2 VINYL LP + CD NEW+ USD $25.92 Buy It Now 3h 31m
MIDLAKE - TRIALS OF VAN OCCUPANTHER NEW CD USD $17.13 Buy It Now 3h 32m
Midlake - Antiphon [CD New] USD $10.92 Buy It Now 3h 39m
Midlake - Trials Of Van Occupanther [CD New] USD $11.73 Buy It Now 3h 41m
MIDLAKE - ANTIPHON CD NEW+ USD $23.28 Buy It Now 5h 24m
Midlake The Courage of Others Deluxe Limited Box 45 RPM Vinyl 2CD DVD USD $139.85 Buy It Now 14h 21m
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MIDLAKE - Glasgow feb.2010 tour concert/gig poster USD $10.60 Buy It Now 19h
MIDLAKE - Glasgow april 2011 tour concert/gig poster USD $9.08 Buy It Now 19h
Midlake - Trials Of Van Occupanther CD USD $16.89 Buy It Now 19h 14m
The Trials of Van Occupanther by Midlake (CD, Jun-2006, MSI Music Distribution) USD $17.00 Buy It Now 21h 34m
MIDLAKE Balloon Maker CD 5 Track Radio Edit With Info Stickered Case B/w Album V USD $9.54 Buy It Now 22h 57m
MIDLAKE Roscoe CD 1 Track Album Version Promo In Card Sleeve EUROPEAN Bella Uni USD $7.95 Buy It Now 22h 57m
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MIDLAKE Trials Of Van Occupanther CD 11 Track UK Bella Union 2006 USD $9.54 Buy It Now 22h 57m
Late Night Tales - Late Night Tales by Midlake 2011) USD $15.91 Buy It Now 23h 12m
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Courage Of Others - Midlake (2010, CD New) USD $7.58 Buy It Now 1 day
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Midlake - Am I Going Insane (2014) - New - 12" single USD $3.90 Buy It Now 1 day
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MIDLAKE LP + CD Antiphon Vinyl and Full CD Album 2013 + Promo Info Sheet USD $24.64 Buy It Now 2 days
Mojave 3 - Out Of Tune CD Indie 4AD Felt Midlake C86 MBV USD $1.50 [0 bids]
2 days
Midlake "The Courage of Others" 2010 Bella Union Used CD USD $3.99 Buy It Now 2 days
Midlake - Antiphon [CD New] USD $15.52 Buy It Now 2 days
Midlake - Courage Of Others [CD New] USD $7.69 Buy It Now 2 days
UNCUT CD WHITE WINTER HYMNALS FOLK COMPILATION 2009 FLEET FOXES VETIVER MIDLAKE USD $3.41 [0 bids]
2 days
Antiphon - Midlake USD $9.03 Buy It Now 2 days
MIDLAKE - COURAGE OF OTHERS BOX ONLY - NO CONTENTS - 300 WORLDWIDE - USD $9.08 Buy It Now 2 days
PAUL WELLER JUKEBOX Amy Winehouse, Broadcast, Midlake, Fleet Foxes, Cow MOJO USD $3.99 Buy It Now 3 days
MIDLAKE Live in Denton, TX 12" LP + DVD RSD 2015 New Sealed USD $22.00 Buy It Now 4 days
MIDLAKE, THE COURAGE OF OTHERS - LP BELLAV224 USD $15.00 Buy It Now 4 days
Midlake Antiphon LP sealed vinyl + download USD $21.98 Buy It Now 4 days
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MIDLAKE - ANTIPHON (DIGIPAK) NEW CD USD $14.22 Buy It Now 5 days
Midlake The Courage Of Others 2CD USD $6.81 [0 bids]
5 days
Trials Of Van Occupanther - Midlake (CD Used Very Good) USD $9.73 Buy It Now 5 days
Antiphon - Midlake (CD Used Very Good) USD $8.92 Buy It Now 5 days
Midlake, Roscoe 1 Track DJ / Promo, Different Artwork, Trials of Van Occupanther USD $9.08 Buy It Now 5 days
Midlake - The Old & The Young (Radio Edit) - U.S. PROMO cd - RARE! USD $5.96 Buy It Now 5 days
MIDLAKE "THE COURAGE OF OTHERS" BELLA UNION 11 TRACK FULL CD ALBUM 2010 SUPERB USD $9.08 Buy It Now 5 days
midlake it's going down rare cd USD $3.02 [0 bids]
5 days
MIDLAKE-THE COURAGE OF OTHERS (BELLA) USD $22.75 Buy It Now 5 days
MIDLAKE - ROSCOE (PROMO CD SINGLE) USD $1.50 [0 bids]
6 days
(BP874) Midlake, Fortune - DJ CD USD $4.17 Buy It Now 6 days
Antiphon - Midlake 5051083074346 (CD Used Very Good) USD $13.52 Buy It Now 6 days
Midlake - Antiphon (NEW 12" VINYL LP) USD $34.20 Buy It Now 7 days
LATE NIGHT TALES - MIDLAKE CD 20 TRACKS ALTERNATIVE/INDEPENDENT/ROCK NEW+ USD $21.48 Buy It Now 7 days
Midlake Am I Going Insane LP vinyl record store day phosphorescent shearwater USD $11.95 Buy It Now 7 days
Courage Of Others - Midlake (2010, CD New) USD $8.77 Buy It Now 7 days
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(ED168) Midlake, Head Home - 2006 DJ CD USD $4.53 Buy It Now 7 days
MIDLAKE - The Courage Of Others + UK Tour - 2010 Magazine Advertisment Poster USD $6.82 Buy It Now 7 days
Midlake - Antiphon Dig CD Pop Rock USD $14.99 Buy It Now 7 days
MIDLAKE - THE COURAGE OF OTHERS CD NEW+ USD $15.99 Buy It Now 7 days
Midlake - ANTIPHON (LP) [Vinyl] USD $19.99 Buy It Now 8 days
MIDLAKE/WILL SELF-Split 12" indie audiobook 2011 Black Sabbath RSD Ltd 1500 USD $8.99 Buy It Now 8 days
MIDLAKE**THE COURAGE OF OTHERS(W/FREE DOWNLOAD)**VINYL USD $20.93 Buy It Now 8 days
Midlake - Courage Of Others UK CD USD $18.69 Buy It Now 8 days
MIDLAKE-TRIALS OF VAN THE OCCUPANTHER-NEW CD ALBUM USD $12.12 Buy It Now 9 days
Bamnan and Slivercork by Midlake (CD, Feb-2008, Bella Union) USD $4.75 Buy It Now 9 days
Midlake - Bamnan & Slivercork (CD New) USD $7.66 Buy It Now 9 days
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MIDLAKE-ANTIPHON CD NEW USD $11.92 Buy It Now 9 days
Trials Of Van Occupanther - Midlake (2006, CD New) USD $10.27 Buy It Now 9 days
MIDLAKE-COURAGE OF OTHERS (DLCD) (OGV) VINYL LP NEW USD $22.08 Buy It Now 9 days
Midlake - Trials Of Van Occupanther [CD New] USD $10.17 Buy It Now 9 days
Midlake - Antiphon 2013 [Vinyl New] USD $29.12 Buy It Now 9 days
Midlake - Courage Of Others [Vinyl New] USD $27.89 Buy It Now 9 days
MIDLAKE - BAMNAN AND SLIVERCORK [805551040624] - NEW CD USD $11.89 Buy It Now 9 days
Uncut 2007.5 Midlake Low Waterboys Son Volt + CD USD $2.26 Buy It Now 10 days
Midlake - Balloon Maker 7" Vinyl Rare Unplayed USD $16.68 Buy It Now 10 days
MIDLAKE (THE TRIALS OF VAN OCCUPANTHER) 2006 Rock Pop CD - 11 Trax (NEW SEALED) USD $7.99 Buy It Now 10 days
Midlake - Antiphon - U.S. PROMO cd - RARE! USD $5.56 Buy It Now 10 days
MIDLAKE-ANTIPHON-CD NEW USD $13.89 Buy It Now 10 days
Midlake - The Trials Of Van Occupanther - CD USD $9.02 Buy It Now 10 days
MIDLAKE - LATE NIGHT TALES: MIDLAKE - ALNCD24 USD $15.47 Buy It Now 10 days
MIDLAKE 3 TRK SAMPLER w/ 2 RARE EDITS PROMO DJ CD Single 2006 STILL SEALED USA USD $14.99 Buy It Now 11 days
Midlake - Courage Of Others (180g Lp) (2010) - New - Long Play Record USD $15.58 Buy It Now 11 days
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MIDLAKE - The Courage Of Others - LP USD $26.68 Buy It Now 13 days
CD: Midlake - The Trials of Van Occupanther USD $0.99 Buy It Now 13 days
MIDLAKE job lot of 2 promo CD singles Fortune Head Home USD $4.53 Buy It Now 13 days
MIDLAKE SILKSCREEN CONCERT POSTER LIMITED EDITION BLUE USD $37.91 Buy It Now 14 days
MIDLAKE SILKSCREEN CONCERT POSTER LIMITED EDITION WHITE USD $37.91 Buy It Now 14 days
Midlake Live in Denton TX + DVD Concert 12" Vinyl LP RECORD STORE DAY RSD 2015 USD $109.99 Buy It Now 14 days
Midlake - Courage of Others (2010) 2 CD - NEW - FREE FASTPOST USD $12.88 Buy It Now 14 days
FLEET FOXES / DIRTY THREE / MIDLAKE + White winter hymnals UNCUT CD 2009 USD $9.08 Buy It Now 14 days
LP courage of others
MIDLAKE
~ USD $22.87


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MIDLAKE shows & tickets


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MIDLAKE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

MIDLAKE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.10 | 10 ratings
Bamnan and Slivercork
2001
3.99 | 23 ratings
The Trials of Van Occupanther
2006
4.21 | 58 ratings
The Courage of Others
2010
3.91 | 21 ratings
Antiphon
2013

MIDLAKE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

MIDLAKE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

MIDLAKE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.50 | 2 ratings
Late Night Tales
2011

MIDLAKE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Milkmaid Grand Army
2006

MIDLAKE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Antiphon by MIDLAKE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.91 | 21 ratings

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Antiphon
Midlake Prog Folk

Review by BrufordFreak

5 stars Midlake's first album after the departure of front man and chief songwriter, Tim Smith. Tim Smith's talents are considerable but Antiphon shows us just how talented Smith's band mates are--and how their founder's talents may, in fact, have overshadowed and suppressed the full display of Midlake's true potential.

This is an amazing album. A very smooth, melodic, instrumentally diverse and sophisticated album on which the participation and contributions of every member of the whole band is strongly felt.

I am in total bliss as I listen to songs 5 through 10, "Vale" (4:31), "Aurora Gone" (4:38), "Ages" (4:39), "This Weight" (3:34), "Corruption" (5:18), "Provider Reprise" (5:01). They are all, each and everyone, masterpieces of Prog Folk. And the opening four songs are very strong, very interesting, as well.

One of my favorite Prog Folk albums of all-time--and much preferable to Van Occupanther.

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 The Courage of Others by MIDLAKE album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.21 | 58 ratings

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The Courage of Others
Midlake Prog Folk

Review by BrufordFreak

3 stars I find this album quite a step down from 2006's masterful Trials of Van Occupanther. The songs are much more lead vocal dominant and Tim Smith's lead vocals are much more monotonous. Slow monotone drone-like singing that sounds tired. Gone is the beautiful, evenly mixed blend of instruments and harmonized vocals. Gone is the upbeat, sometimes playful bounce and singing styles. No song stands out above the others as half a dozen on Van Occupanther border on stunning and spectacular. The one redeeming factor of The Courage of Others is the slight movement toward a sound more fitting to the prog world--like the Prog Folk groups of the 1970s and less like the perky Indie pop groups of the Naughties.

Album highlights: the delicate, emotional title song (3:20) (9/10); the insistent "Bring Down" (3:42) (9/10); the electrified "Winter Dies" (5:07) (8/10) and "Small Mountain" (3:39) (8/10).

This is a decent although monotonous album. Good for three stars.

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 The Trials of Van Occupanther by MIDLAKE album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.99 | 23 ratings

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The Trials of Van Occupanther
Midlake Prog Folk

Review by BrufordFreak

5 stars A brilliant album of quite intricate and subtly constructed songs. A songwriting style that seems common to many Midlake songs is used to great success here: that is the process of slowly adding an assortment of instruments to flit and playfully dance around the lead vocal. Quite remarkable and endearing.

1. Fan favorite "Roscoe" (4:49) is not one of my personal favorites. (8/10)

2. "Bandits" (4:04) is a multi-dimensional, multi-part song that really displays a lust for story telling through the music as well as through the lyric. Quite an intricate display of composition and performance. One of the album's best. (9/10)

3. "Head Home" (5:45) contains some of my favorite vocal arrangements that I've heard in a long time--with quite daring and unexpected changes in direction and melody. (9/10)

4. "Van Occupanther" (3:15) is augmented by some stunningly delightful flute and woodwind play thorough out the song--brilliantly offsetting the flat-toned lead vocal. It's as if the vocal is the foundation and everybody else is dancing playfully around him. Amazing! My favorite song on the album. (10/10)

5. "Young Bride" (4:56) is a brilliant song in the vein of RODDY FRAME/AZTEC CAMERA and ARCADE FIRE. Another favorite. (10/10)

6. "Branches" (5:03) slows things down and gets a little bogged down in the syrup of the lyric & lead vocal. Nice piano work and song shifts. (8/10)

7. "In This Camp" (5:44) sees Tim Smith singing in that FLEET FOXES style upper register. Again nice piano support and subtle incidentals before the song crashes into the eminently cathy chorus melody. (9/10)

8. "We Gathered in Spring" (3:33) sees the band singing in some of the tightest, most even harmonies--CROSBY, STILLS & NASH and AMERICA-like. Beautiful. (9/10)

9. "It Covers the Hillsides" (3:14) is upbeat and bouncy in a MAMAS & THE PAPAS/JOHN SEBASTIAN way. (8/10)

10. "Chasing After Deer" (2:42) is another delicately embellished song--subtle instrumental touches gathering around the solid, beautifully sung lead vocal. (8/10)

11. "You Never Arrived" (1:39) (8/10)

An imaginative display of thoughtful, playful, yet beautifully executed song craftsmanship. 4.5 stars rated up for being so refreshing.

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 The Courage of Others by MIDLAKE album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.21 | 58 ratings

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The Courage of Others
Midlake Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Midlake play indie folk rock that draws extensively on the magical, mystical stylings of electric British folk rock of the style of the likes of Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span or Pentangle, with perhaps a strong dash of Strawbs to spice things up. These aren't the typical indie folk influences, so it follows that this ain't your typical indie folk album - instead, as the rather druid- themed cover implies, you're looking at a mystic folk rock journey reminiscent of the dreamy medievalism that crept into the electric folk scene in Britain much more than it did with the likes of, say, Neil Young or Crosby, Stills and Nash. Enchanting.

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 Antiphon by MIDLAKE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.91 | 21 ratings

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Antiphon
Midlake Prog Folk

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars Though only having briefly heard their second "folkish" album Occupanther and their psychier Courage, I never really thought of Midlake as a prog folk or folk-prog group, but then again, my only experience with the band (so far) is their latest/fourth: the impressive Antiphon. The sober artwork is intriguing enough with mainly black but also red-orange-yellow and pale green colours throughout the gatefold and lyric sheet.

Their music is a form of alternate rock with some prog touches, not least of which is a generally luxuriant array of instruments - vintage or sampled remains to be seen, since we don't have the right of information in the leaflet - though a quick glance on PA gave me the answer I was looking for. In many ways, we're somewhere between Muse, Decemberist, the 90's Radiohead, Paatos and a few more of the ilk. This change in direction is probably the result of their former leader, but the band doesn't seem to suffer from his departure, thus hinting they might've had bigger roles than initially thought. The first few tracks are very accessible and dare I say slightly poppy, though relatively fast and "rock". About halfway through, the general mood is calmer and more introspective, maybe a tad proggier, because it seems that more space is left to the instrumental passages, especially in the haunting Ages. Another highlight is Corruption with his delicate textures, not unlike Landberk or Paatos.

So, if there were folk influences in their previous albums, in the present, they'd have o be buried pretty deep should there be any. Never mind the pigeonholes; we're left with a fairly interesting album of modern prog that probably exceeds what one might have expected from a band having lost their artistic leader.

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 Antiphon by MIDLAKE album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.91 | 21 ratings

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Antiphon
Midlake Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

4 stars Considering the weight of songwriting burden on former lead vocalist Tim Smith, one could be forgiven for assuming that his departure would essentially dissect MIDLAKE, but instead the band pulls a 1975 GENESIS, promoting from within and opting for the cooperative approach on "Antiphon". Musically speaking, after the initial disappointment of Eric Pulido's decidedly frailer vocals and the general absence of (perhaps overly?) emotive melodies, this isn't far off the more psychedelic and dreamier pieces on 2010's "The Courage of Others", although it seems like more of a sequel to "Trials of Van Occupanther" from 2006. It all goes to show that the rest of MIDLAKE were more than just session musicians for Tim Smith, that clearly some collective consciousness was in play, and they are obviously on board with the prog/psych/folk sound and/or can't escape it so easily.

The first half of the album tends to be the more accessible, and also a bit punchier, especially in the percussions. "Antiphon" is a short hypnotic mid tempo song that seems pleasant yet wholly unremarkable until evaluated in the overall context, part of which is its iridescent successor "Provider", a gorgeous uptempo ballad with evocative lyrics that might be construed as an appeal for inspiration and strength in the face of crises, and it sets an optimistic but not cloying tone. This is when MIDLAKE's tendencies to blanket the listener in a mood are apparent again, and additional splendors like the infectious hit potential of "The Old and the Young", the psych wonder "It's Going Down", the TIR NA NOG like "Aurora Gone", and the percussive and synth driven "This Weight" in and of themselves make this a worthwhile listen for prog folk fans. If the other tunes don't measure up, they still help to propel the generally subdued angst of "Antiphon" to its denouement, a lyrical if not musical reprise of "Provider".

I could say that MIDLAKE has done it again, but that wouldn't be quite fair to Smith's legacy or the new incarnation. While "Antiphon" isn't quite at the level of the prior two releases, it is far better than one would have any right to expect. Come to think of it, isn't that what happened back in 1975?

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 The Trials of Van Occupanther by MIDLAKE album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.99 | 23 ratings

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The Trials of Van Occupanther
Midlake Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

5 stars If the career of a successful band is comprised of a number of breakthroughs in audience acclaim and artistic achievement, then "Trials of Van Occupanther" marks the first breakthrough for this earnest Denton, TX band.

In addition to its transfixing if somewhat opaque story line and uniformity, as opposed to redundancy, of style, "Van Occupanther" represents probably the most convincing album of 1970s influenced art rock recorded by artists too young to remember that decade first hand. The almost non stop emotive melodies pay homage to FLEETWOOD MAC, AMERICA, LOGGINS AND MESSINA, THE EAGLES, and some Brits like DIRE STRAITS, AMAZING BLONDEL (post John Gladwin period) and MAGNA CARTA. No one influence dominates, although the laid back California sound of that period often returns to impart the sensuous shivery awe of a sunny, tranquil west coast day. At the same time, the group has distilled the most enduring aspects of the music of that period, and produced one of the freshest albums of its own decade. I actively dislike most of the EAGLES output, recognize AMERICA's limitations, find MAGNA CARTA a bit boring, enjoy a few LOGGINS and MESSINA songs in small doses, ok I do love FLEETWOOD MAC, but my point is that MIDLAKE concocts an eclectic and more emotionally grounded vision.

On first listens this is just pleasant enough, but it is with every return visit to MIDLAKE's alternate reality that one comes to appreciate the album's ability to transport its audience. Its progressive virtues slowly and shyly reveal themselves in tracks like the stunning "Young Bride", which hints at the band's upcoming subservience to all matters English; "Branches", which shuffles along before tastefully bursting out; "In this Camp" and the plaintive keeper "Bandits". But really, all the material presented here is good or better, ultimately made excellent by the manner in which it is loyally compiled. Yes, even, maybe especially, the FLEETWOOD MAC related indulgences like "Roscoe" and driving beauty "Head Home",

While not matching the immediate impact of the follow up "The Courage of Others", "Trials of Van Occupanther" may ultimately prove more sustaining. Time will tell, but, in the case of "Trials" the verdict is in.

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 The Courage of Others by MIDLAKE album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.21 | 58 ratings

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The Courage of Others
Midlake Prog Folk

Review by Frankie Flowers

4 stars This was Midlake's third album that followed four years after "The Trials Of Van Occupanther". It's a much stronger work over all. And this time there's an overwhelming influence of English folk rock. For those who have enjoyed works by Fairport Convention, Pentangle or Nick Drake, this ought to sound like a wonderful prospect, and it really is wonderful coming from this band. This album shouldn't disappoint lovers of early progressive folk, especially with such tracks like "Acts Of Man" and "Winter Dies". The melodies leave a deep impression and Tim Smith's vocals along with the harmonizing sometimes give me goosebumps, no more than the opening to the chorus of "Core of Nature" - 'Into the core of nature, No earthly mind can enter' which is a line from a poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. There's more flute work on this album too and the very atmospheric solo on "Rulers, Ruling All Things" feels like a friendly nod to some early Moody Blues pieces. If you compare this to "Trials", with its use of more electric guitars and keyboards, this has a more early 70's feel, and it is really a different experience. It's only a pity that like with most band's these days, we often have to wait a few years between album releases. Still, with music this great it's better late than never! Keep listening to this album, it will grow on you more and more. Four solid stars.

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 The Trials of Van Occupanther by MIDLAKE album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.99 | 23 ratings

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The Trials of Van Occupanther
Midlake Prog Folk

Review by Frankie Flowers

3 stars It's great to see Midlake are here on the prog archives. I was very pleased to discover this Texan band upon this album's release. This was their second studio album, and as another reviewer pointed out, there are heavy influences from 1970's American-styled psychedelic folk-rock such as Neil Young and I also feel some Fleetwood Mac among others, especially on the opening track "Roscoe". It's a lush, melodic album and well-constructed with emotional, harmonic vocals sometimes reminding me of Simon and Garfunkel, though at the same time there's still no mistaking their sound for anyone else's. The lyrics are often enchanting bringing up imagery set in woodlands, boats and log cabins; telling some moving tales of pioneering, travel and isolation. It really has the power to take the listener away. 'Bandits' delivers a nice message to reflect on about our possessions. The instrumentation is wonderful, nice work from the flute and acoustics and also analog synthesisers. The first three songs are the strongest, "Head Home" being the best of all. I'll have to agree with Finnforest that the second half of the album isn't quite as strong as the first half, though there are some fine melancholic pieces. I really like "We gathered In Spring" with its glistening 80's sounding keyboards and "It Covers The Hillsides" is really nice too, though the last two pieces sound like bonus tracks. This is a good album in all however, highly recommended to fans of the prog-folk genre.

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 The Courage of Others by MIDLAKE album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.21 | 58 ratings

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The Courage of Others
Midlake Prog Folk

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

5 stars It's all too easy to dismiss modern rock as a triumph of style over substance, tuneless rhyming, so much noise, but that would be too much like how parents have decried their kids' music ever since "Rock around the Clock", and probably well before. The older one gets, the harder it becomes to keep up with changes in pop culture, as occupied as one becomes with work, kids, or other interests and commitments like a perennial search for the best modern prog recording. Actually, none of those pursuits is necessarily age related. And none of what I am saying necessarily applies to MIDLAKE's "Courage of Others. That is because this is unabashed throwback to that better time, which happened to be prog's peak. MIDLAKE rests on the periphery of the genre of our affection, again neither here nor there, because their latest album occupies the molten core at all that was best in music during the early 70s, preserved with integrity, and shuttled to the present day while rendering any "best before" dates superfluous.

The influences of progressive and non progressive artists of the 70s suffuses the MIDLAKE personality like Florida sun on a northerner's pale February skin. The opening cut "Acts of Man"'s guitars are picked like Fripp on "Epitaph", and the melody is almost as enduring. Elsewhere, although less obviously, we are reminded of TULL, STRAWBS, PENTANGLE and, generally, WISHBONE ASH in perennial ballad mode. The sensitive touch of an AMERICA or even a BREAD can also be discerned. The monster cut "Children of the Grounds" pays FLEETWOOD MAC homage, tying together disparate eras like that of BOB WELCH and LINDSAY BUCKINGHAM. But the other many highlights establish the credentials of that rare serious band who elevate themselves above mere alternative rock to alternative lifestyle - "Rulers, Ruling All Things", "Winter Dies", "Core of Nature", and the stunning closer "In the Ground", which is probably the most progressive piece here in the literal and interpretive sense. In the end, MIDLAKE's earnest dramatic and nigh irrevocable expression of loss and their acoustic British Isles prog folk reveries establish their uncool credentials in a manner that scuttles most alt rock bands however alternative they may profess to be. I'm sold.

It would have been a tad immodest but not at all inaccurate for MIDLAKE to have titled this "The Courage of Ourselves". A modern retro masterpiece.

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Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the artist addition.

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