As the train for this decade hurtles down the track and out of sight, there’s still a few more hugely influential bands to talk about that did it for me during this timespan. Midlake has got to be one of them. The Denton, Texas-based band formed in 1999 and started off as jazz nerds, but then discovered the beauty of indie rock (Bonanos, I know you’ll love the irony of that statement). Their first full-length, “Bamnan and Silvercork” had some gorgeous moments, but it wasn’t until 2006’s “The Trials of Van Occupanther” that Midlake really moved the needle. It is, without pause, one of my favorite albums of the decade.
Many people consider “Van Occupanther” to be strongly reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac’s golden 1970s era sweet pop. I really don’t. One of the stronger songs on the album, “Head Home” is probably the only song that really rings that bell and that’s mostly because of the multiple vocals cruising beautifully during the chorus of the song. It’s a hell of a song, for sure, but it doesn’t even come close to defining the band, because if you haven’t heard “Bandits,” the breathtaking “Branches,” or the sheer wonderment of “Roscoe,” well then, you should. Because these guys are for real. I mean it. They’re accessible enough for you mainstream radio listeners and hip enough for us music snobs. Check out “Head Home” and “Roscoe” below.
Head Home ——> [audio:headhome.mp3]
Roscoe ——-> [audio:roscoe.mp3]
- Milkmaid Grand Army (EP) (2001)
- Bamnan and Slivercork (2004)
- Balloon Maker (EP) (2005)
- The Trials of Van Occupanther (2006)
- Oak & Julian (iTunes-only EP) (2007)
- Acts Of Man (12″ Single) (Dec 2009)
- The Courage of Others (February 2010)
…and I do!