The Courage of Others by Midlake – Album Review


by Matt Callard

Midlake toured second album, The Trials of Van Occupanther – the best album of 2006, no less – to death.

the courage of others album review midlakeThey flogged it, milked it, hoiked it around the globe. And then, two years ago, disappeared into the backwoods of Texas from whence they came. Since then, not a whimper.

But they’ve been listening – and growing. Listening, it would seem, somewhat incongruously, to Brit-folk. Not just to Nick Drake, Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span but to nu-folk’s finest modern adventurers – James Yorkston, Adem, Rachel Unthank.

“Echoes the best of Brit-folk old and new”

It’s a welcome left turn, when most might have been expecting a fairy step forward on the Cosmic American Music road, they’ve veered off at a tangent. The Courage of Others might as well have emerged from the English countryside so brilliantly and convincingly does it echo the best of Brit-folk old and new.

Gone is the last album’s warm palette of sounds, replaced by an icy, monochromatic chill. Gone is the accessible, radio-friendly soft rock, replaced by a grainy, picky, guitar-led wash. What remains is a sense of isolation, a remoteness and an hypnotic, singular vision.

Nu-folk’s creative endgame, right here, from the wilds of Texas.


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