Midlake: In Tune With Nature

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"Acts of Man" surrounds Midlake's ruminations on man and nature with the rich sounds of a folk-pop orchestra. Jon Beck hide caption

toggle caption Jon Beck

"Acts of Man" surrounds Midlake's ruminations on man and nature with the rich sounds of a folk-pop orchestra.

Jon Beck

Wednesday's Pick

  • Artist: Midlake
  • Song: "Midlake"
  • CD: The Courage of Others
  • Genre: Folk-Pop

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Like most bands, Midlake took a while to find its identity, but it found it in spades on its sleekly sweet breakout album, 2006's The Trials of Van Occupanther. But the Denton, Texas, group hasn't had it easy in the time since: The Courage of Others follows three and a half years of false starts and hesitation, and the new album's tender, somber, fussed-over tone brings to mind the sound of a band carrying the weight of the world.

"If all that grows starts to fade, starts to falter / Oh, let me inside, let me inside not to wake," Tim Smith sings in "Acts of Man," which surrounds his meditation on man and nature with dense harmonies and the rich sounds of a folk-pop orchestra. The song strikes a mournful tone, even as Smith celebrates the wonder that surrounds him: "Great are the sounds of all that live." If that's the case, then Midlake is clearly alive and well.

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