I have yet to hear Midlakes's first album but having listened to this I am definitely ordering it today. I put this straight onto my MP3 and was so astounded by the vast range of sounds, vocals and excellent use of instruments that I listened to it 3 times non stop. The last album to affect me in this way was Eels "Blinking Lights" (another essential purchse I stress). Van Occupanther seems to follow a drifting storyline of adventures, wasted opportunities and the day to day happenings of deep-in-the-woods-dwelling. It's a blinder and you'll love it, but play it on a good system to really appreciate the range of music and vocals.