Denton Texas’ Midlake have taken a long road between 2010’s Courage of Others and this fall’s fourth album, Anitphon. After more than a year of recording, frontman Tim Smith decided to leave the band late last year for solo project Harp and all the material was scrapped. As Smith tells it:
“I knew I was holding them back and I knew some of them felt the same way. There was no huge fight. I just felt it wasn’t going to happen (given there was only 1 song recorded in 2 years that I liked called “Festival”…which I’d love to see released someday) and thought they’d be better off without me and vice versa. I guess that was true cause they wrote and recorded all new songs in 6 months which has never happened with me at the helm. I wish them the best. I love them all and expect they’ll reach a much higher level of notoriety without me.”
While the last point is debatable, the remaining members, as well as new members Jesse Chandler and Joey McClellan, rallied around guitarist and new singer Eric Pulido completing Antiphon in record time. The result, Pulido says is “the most honest representation of the band as a whole, as opposed to one person’s vision that we were trying to facilitate.” The ol’ creative differences story once again.
Midlake Mach II has swerved away from the Brit folk of Courage and turned back to the more progressive ground covered on The Trials of Van Occupanther. Definitely still sounds like Midlake, with more urgency and a neo psychedelic edge. Listen to the title track below and download here for an email address.
It’s always unfortunate when bands splinter under pressure, but it seems Midlake proper will successfully carry on. And we’ll always have “Roscoe”:
Antiphon is out November 4 on Bella Union.