MIDLAKE - FOR THE SAKE OF BETHEL WOODS VINYL (LTD. ED. WHITE GATEFOLD)
LIMITED EDITION WHITE VINYL GATEFOLD
Release Date: 18th March 2022
"Loss and hope, isolation and communion, the cessation and renewal of purpose. Timeless and salient, these themes echo throughout the fifth album from Midlake, their first since ‘Antiphon’ in 2013. From the cover to the title and beyond, a longing to reconnect with that which seems lost and seek purpose in its passing sits at the record’s core. The cover star is keyboardist/flautist Jesse Chandler’s father, who, tragically, passed away in 2018. As singer Eric Pulido explains, “He was a lovely human, and it was really heavy and sad, and he came to Jesse in a dream. I reference it in a song. He said, ‘Hey, Jesse, you need to get the band back together.’ I didn’t take that lightly.” A desire to commune with the past and connect with present, lived experience asserts itself from the opening of the album. ‘Bethel Woods’ sustains and develops that reconnection, evoking the steadfast and contemplative urgency of ‘The Trials of Van Occupanther’ to back a lyric steeped in yearning for a paradisal time and place of hope and optimism. Soaring guitars and atmospheric noise effects extend a sonic scope further developed by ‘Glistening,’ where arpeggios dance like light glancing off a lake. In just three songs, Midlake reintroduce themselves and reach out into fresh territory with a richly intuitive dynamism, honouring their past as a seedbed of possibility. Elsewhere, the prog-enhanced funk-rock of ‘Gone’ seeks to find hope in relationships that seem fragile. The ELO-esque ‘Meanwhile...’ draws inspiration from what happened when Midlake paused after ‘Antiphon’, developing universal resonance as a song about the beautiful growths that can emerge from the cracks and gaps between things. ‘Dawning’ draws on 1970s soft-rock stylings for another song searching for hope, its keyboard line reaching out towards an uncertain future while everything seems to collapse around it; ‘The End’ reflects on the difficulties of partings. On-hand was new collaborator John Congleton, who produced, engineered and mixed the album, marking Midlake’s first record with an outside producer. “I can’t say enough just how much his influence brought our music to another sonic place than we would have,” says Pulido. “I don’t want to record without a producer again. Part of that is the health of the band, because as you get older you get more opinionated and you kind of need that person who says, ‘No, it’s going to be this way!’ It’s hard to do that with your friends.”"