DFW Music News

Midlake Sets Release Date, Moves Forward With New Album. Which May Explain Why Jason Lee Is In Town.

Big news today from Midlake camp, as the band's publicity team has sent out a press release announcing the date (February 2, 2010) and cover art (see right) of the band's first release in three years (The Courage of Others)--not to mention the somewhat unsurprising, but still comforting, news that the record will once again be release under the Bella Union label.

After the jump, check the full press release, which includes a tracklisting and short tour schedule set to kick off just after New Year's (no DFW yet, although I'm guessing you can expect that to change in the near future).

In the meantime, expect the band to remain in Denton, further prepping its release. How so? Well, by creating a short film paired with a few of its new tracks, for one.

And helping Midlake with that cause? Noted celebrity Midlake fan, actor Jason Lee, who already directed the band's video for the song "Balloon Maker" off its 2004 release Bamnan and Silvercork. Lee's in town, go figure, helping Midlake create a new short film with which a couple of the new tracks will be paired--or so Midlake's Eric Pulido told our Danny Fulgencio last night when Fulgencio popped on by Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios in Denton after hearing rumors that Lee was spinning records at the venue. He was, turns out, and taking requests, even--but left just before Fulgencio got there.

Oh well: Pulido told Fulgencio that My Name is Earl fans might find Lee hanging out at Dan's Silverleaf tomorrow night--after a long day of filming, no doubt.



On Feb 2, 2010 Bella Union will release the eagerly anticipated new Midlake album 'The Courage of Others,' the follow-up to the group's 2006 breakout 'The Trials of Van Occupanther.' The eleven original songs on 'Courage' were written by Tim Smith and produced by Midlake at their new custom-built studio in Denton, TX. The band's lineup remains: singer Tim Smith, Paul Alexander on bass, drummer McKenzie Smith, and guitarists Eric Pulido and Eric Nichelson.

'Courage' builds on the complex textures that made 'Van Occupanther' a touchstone, revealing breathtaking soundscapes and bygone eras. Equal parts intimate and epic, the album evokes a cloistered world of its own with dreamlike melodies, stunning vocal harmonies and ambitious arrangements.

Midlake took a two year break from the road to focus on the new album, but will tour extensively in 2010, with an initial string of dates and a return to SXSW - genesis of the 'Van Occupanther' groundswell in 2006 - already confirmed.

Reviewing one of their last U.S. shows in 2007, SPIN Magazine observed that the new song "Children of Grounds," which appears on 'Courage,' "pointed toward further ascension," with "brooding atmospherics and guitar-face rockin'."

"Out of step with anything else released in 2006" (Pitchfork), 'The Trials of Van Occupanther' proved to be a critical and artistic bellwether with Feist, Sufjan Stevens, and Andrew Bird among others, praising the album in interviews. "I wish more groups were this ambitious," Bird told Rolling Stone.

'The Courage of Others' tracklist:

Acts of Man
Winter Dies
Small Mountain
Core of Nature
Rulers, Ruling All Things
Children of the Grounds
Bring Down
The Horn
The Courage of Others
In The Ground

Midlake 2010 tour dates so far (more to be announced soon):

Jan 5 Baton Rouge, LA Spanish Moon
Jan 6 Tallahassee, FL Engine Room
Jan 7 Orlando, FL The Social
Jan 8 St. Augustine, FL Cafe Eleven
Jan 9 Mt. Pleasant, SC Village Tavern
Jan 10 Asheville, NC Grey Eagle
Jan 11 Memphis, TN Hi-Tone
Jan 12 Little Rock, Rev Room

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Pete Freedman
Contact: Pete Freedman