Early this year Midlake’s new album The Courage of Others was released. The first time I listened to it I heard a somewhat simpeler and darker sound than on its predecessor The Trials of Van Occupanter. But, as always, the album grows on you after a few listens, and although it became clear that in this album I would not find as much complexity in the structure of the songs, complexity can still be found in the density of the layers of sound, carefully shifting over each other, building up to a climax or peeling off like on onion, slowly exposing its core.
A great show
Some of my friends saw Midlake play live earlier this year at Paradiso (Amsterdam), and met the band in a bad shape. The sound was not mixed well and the guys were tired. Luckily, their concert at Tivoli (Utrecht, NL), was much better. At first they seemed a bit timid, and I know some people have to get used to the image of two bearded men playing the flute, but during the concert the energy of the music and the audience charged the group and resulted in a serious, but passionate show. And while four guitar players on stage might seem a bit excessive, the sound was very well balanced, all layers woven together gently.