The Old & The Young

Last Wednesday, the six members of Midlake from Texas took to the stage of Dolan’s Warehouse and delivered an impressive 90-minute set. I wasn’t that familiar with their music beforehand, but I thoroughly enjoyed the band’s musicianship, vocal harmonies and their songs. They formed in 1999 and released albums in 2004, 2006 and 2010. Antiphon is the title of their fourth album and it will be released later this year

Their first three albums were all released by Bella Union Records and featured Tim Smith on lead vocals. Smith was also the principal songwriter, but he recently left the band. Guitarist Eric Pulido has stepped up to to act as frontman and lead vocalist. He managed the job quite well in Dolan’s and engaged in some friendly banter every few songs

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In any case, Midlake let their songs and music do the talking. I don’t know if there’s a genre called psychedelic folk-rock, but Midlake’s music would certainly fit this category. The band are all excellent musicians and the harmony vocals and dreamy sounds they create conjure up a contemplative soundscape that is nicely complemented by the colourful lightshow that constantly changes in the background. I found it all very psychedelic and I was only drinking Guinness! It was evident from the start that this was going to be a laid-back affair when one of the roadies brought out the setlists at the end of the first song

The band opened the show with a couple of tracks from their most acclaimed album, The Trials of Van Occupanther (2006), and closed it with two from it as well. They also played the wonderful Roscoe from the same album towards the end of the main set. The rest of the show was made up of two songs from the band’s debut, three from their third album and five and a reprise from the upcoming release. The new songs all sound promising and I look forward to hearing more from it when it’s released in November. In the meantime, you can listen to Antiphon’s title track below and download it for free from their website here

Antiphon – Midlake