Midlake: In Tune With Nature

  • Playlist
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/124529753/124457336" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Midlake i

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

itoggle caption Jon Beck
Midlake

"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

Every day for two weeks, Song of the Day will showcase a track by an artist playing the South by Southwest music festival. For NPR Music's full coverage of SXSW — complete with full-length concerts, studio sessions, blogs, Twitter feeds, video and more — click here. And don't miss our continuous six-and-a-half-hour playlist, The Austin 100, which features much more of the best music the festival has to offer.

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.

Listen to yesterday's Song of the Day, and subscribe to the Song of the Day newsletter.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.