Midlake – Antiphon
Stripping any band of a member will prompt doubts about the future, but in the case of these amiable Texans, it’s songwriter and lead singer Tim Smith that’s jumped ship. Guitarist Eric Pulido has already lent his backing vocals to memorable 2006 breakout The Trials of Van Occupanther and its rather aimless follow-up The Courage of Others; on Antiphon he steps up to frontman.
It’s a smooth enough transition and for the first time Midlake actually feel like their own men, rather than aping Fleetwood Mac or Fairport Convention. The dreampop of The Old And The Young and its title track plants their feet in new terrain, whilst Vale’s psych rock is tougher than a pair of old cowboy boots. There's the odd meandering misstep as they undergo this renewal, but there’s still plenty of evidence here to suggest an interesting new chapter for the band.