Another band I heard from thanks to the Bella Union CD sampler "Beneath the Surface vol.1" (essential purchase!!!), and though all songs on it are very good, Midlake's "Some of them were superstitious" closes it in a dreamy melancholy & gorgeous way.
The one thing Midlake might suffer from is a name that wouldn't necessarily drag you into their music at first, which can only be a shame when this album is such an amazing debut, and for a debut it's very impressive indeed!
For the first few spins of the disk, it seemed hard to shake off comparisons with Grandaddy (which is not such a bad thing), mainly because Tim Smith's voice expresses vulnerability & simplicity reminescent of "Under the Western Freeway", sometimes even Tom York-like, while carrying beautiful melodies.
But it's only a matter of time to get used to what this band from Denton, Texas, really has to offer. Their music ranges from qwerky lo-fi to psychedelia ballads, but putting labels & names on it just isn't fair: what is so unique about Midlake is their ability to create a universe that mixes fantasy & childlike dreams similar to icelandic Mum's.
"Kingfish pies" or "balloon maker" both share great imaginative lyrics & catchy melodies (like most of the album actually) and the layers of flutes, pianos, organs, guitars & also electronica only help create a wonderful place where you will want to escape to with them many many times. Truly original. Excellent!