Sometimes you just need to take things down a notch. Sometimes, everything is too loud and fast and overwhelming......all you want is to slow it all down, catch your breath, imagine some place where it's just you and your thoughts at whatever pace they choose to flow. In the absence of unlimited funds to fly oneself off to a remote, secluded 'happy place', music is the perfectly acceptable alternative. And a sofa or bed, obviously. I often have trouble picking out the perfect band to soundtrack this mental comedown - some too melancholy, some too upbeat and energetic in places - ......enter Midlake.
I've had their uniquely satisfying 'The Trials of Van Occupanther' for over a year now and it first came out well before that in 2006, yet it's only really now that it's becoming clear how best to take it in. Previously it struck me as a perfectly good, restrained slice of lo-fi indie, not much more or less. This last few weeks have required something to help my mind drift off without direction or purpose, though, and this has been the perfect tonic. Gently, unobtrusively, the whole album winds through heart-warming folk tales, unassuming at first but which reveal a little more as and when you choose to listen in greater depth. If that's too much, the simple melodies are enough to just carry off the weight of the world.
There's not much more to consider here, just a warm recognition of a band that have subtly crept into my regular listening and found their very own niche. My favourite albums are those that slow burn their way into your awareness over many months and years, eventually occupying a special place in the collection. 'The Trials of Van Occupanther' is another happy addition.
MP3: Head Home
Now playing: Midlake - In This Camp