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Midlake The Trials Of Van Occupanther (10th Anniversary Edition)
Bella Union October 28, 2017

Midlake — The Trials Of Van Occupanther (10th Anniversary Edition)

  Midlake — The Trials Of Van Occupanther (10th Anniversary Edition) (October 28, 2017) Midlake — The Trials Of Van Occupanther (10th Anniversary Edition) (October 28, 2017)ΕΠ   DELUXE EDITION: 2016 reissue of classic 2006 album from Texan psych~folk outfit, pressed on GOLD vinyl with bonus 7” single. Harmony~laden indie quintet from North Texas with influences from psychedelic pop and soft rock.
ΕΠ   Recorded at their studio in Denton, the self produced Antiphon came together in six months and was mixed by Tony Hoffer (Belle and Sebastian, M83, Beck). According to Eric Pulido, “Antiphon is the most honest representation of the band as a whole, as opposed to one person’s vision that we were trying to facilitate.”
ΕΠ   “It’s always through the scope of Midlake,” said Pulido of the new record, “but on Antiphon we wanted to embrace the psychedelia, style and nuance you might hear in bands from yesteryear while also being aware of music influences leading up to and present now. The result was less folk and more rock. Less nostalgic and more progressive. Now the sky’s the limit.”
Formed: 1999 by a group of jazz students at the University of North Texas College of Music, Denton, TX
Location: Denton, Texas, United States
Album release: Jul 25, 2006 / October 28, 2017
Number of Discs: 2
Record Label: Bella Union
Duration:     43:40
Tracks:
01 Roscoe
02 Bandits
03 Head Home
04 Van Occupanther
05 Young Bride
06 Branches
07 In This Camp
08 We Gathered In Spring
09 It Covers the Hillsides
10 Chasing After Deer
11 You Never Arrived
12 The Fairest Way
13 Festival
Personnel:
•    Tim Smith — vocals, piano, keyboard, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, flute
•    Eric Pulido — electric guitar, acoustic guitar, 12~string acoustic guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
•    Paul Alexander — bass, double bass, electric guitar, keyboards, piano, bassoon
•    McKenzie Smith — drums, percussion
•    Eric Nichelson — keyboards, piano, acoustic guitar, 12~string acoustic guitar, electric guitar
Additional musicians:
•    Linda Salisbury — French horn on “Branches” and “Van Occupanther”
•    Josh Ello — violin on “Young Bride”
New:
•    Jesse Chandler — keyboards, piano, flute, backing vocals
•    Joey McClellan — guitars, backing vocals
Production notes:
•    Songs and lyrics by Tim Smith
•    Produced by Tim Smith and Midlake
•    Engineered and mixed by Paul Alexander and Midlake
•    Mastered by Alan Douches at West West Side Music
•    Photos by Tim Smith
•    Design and layout by Tim Carter and Midlake
•    Recorded and mixed in Denton, TX
Description:
ΕΠ   This Autumn Midlake will celebrate the 10th anniversary of The Trials of Van Occupanther with a deluxe reissue via Bella Union on 180g gold vinyl, complete with a B2 pull~out poster, handwritten lyrics and previously unseen photos. The cover artwork has been reimagined in a fittingly flushed, hallucinatory painting by neo~impressionist (and pavement~scorching skateboarder) Brian Lotti. The original album will be accompanied by a special bonus 7” featuring two previously unreleased tracks, the plaintive rolling lament of “The Fairest Way” and the revelatory psychedelic swirl of “Festival”, two tracks recorded before original vocalist Tim Smith departed the band.
Review
Noel Murray, 7/26/06 12:30am; Score: A–
ΕΠ   Just the opening half~minute of “Roscoe,” the lead track on Midlake’s sophomore album The Trials Of Van Occupanther, generates the kind of knowingly resigned, darkly ritualistic mood that was all over FM radio in the mid~to~late~‘70s, in the era of Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, and Dire Straits. The mellifluous, murmuring double~tracked croon of bandleader Tim Smith spirals through echoing piano, muffled drums, and quietly slashing electric guitars, all so commanding that there’s no better way to react to it than to find a window to stare through — preferably one facing a grove of trees, swaying in an autumn wind. It’s the kind of song worth stopping everything for.
ΕΠ   Then again, so is “Bandits,” which marries an archaic~sounding melody to humming organ and rippling piano, and “Head Home,” which builds to a dramatic guitar solo that sounds like a tin shack beset by storms, and “Van Occupanther,” a steady piano march leavened by the sound of a Mellotron and Smith cautioning, “I must be careful now in my steps.” With The Trials Of Van Occupanther, Midlake has built a fragile fantasy world out of pieces of American history, the resonant sounds of churches and small~town music halls, and a basic sense of compassion. Songs like “Young Bride” and “Branches” practically tremble, as they pulse along on steady keyboards and woven~silk guitar, keeping Smith braced while he sings lines like, “It’s hard for me, but I’m trying.”
ΕΠ   Van Occupanther’s spell finally breaks a little more than halfway through its 11 tracks, when the songs begin to feel more fussed~over and conceptual and less organic, but the warmth never fades. When Midlake reaches the album’s brief, moving conclusion, “You Never Arrived,” it’s earned the pangs of recognition it’ll get from those listeners who grew up with music seeping into the mystery~infatuated compartments of their subconsciouses.   ΕΠ   https://music.avclub.com/
Ben Beaumont~Thomas, Tuesday 3 March 2015 16.17 GMT
ΕΠ   https://www.theguardian.com/membership/2015/mar/03/guardian-live-midlake-film-and-qa-with-jason-lee-eric-noren-and-eric-pulido
Label: https://bellaunion.greedbag.com/
Website: https://www.midlake.net/
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Midlake The Trials Of Van Occupanther (10th Anniversary Edition)
Bella Union October 28, 2017

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