The Courage of OthersAlbum |
Ornate British-style folk full of flutes and gently-plucked string instruments
Leave it to a bunch of introverted music nerds living somewhere in Texas to make both the best English folk record of the past decade and possibly the best English folk record made by people who are not actually English. While Midlake's last album, the winsome Trials of Van Occupanther, successfully resurrected the vibe of pastoral '70s country rock, The Courage of Others explores the dulcet-toned, wandering minstrel territory of British folk-rockers like Pentangle and Liege and Lief-era Fairport Convention with mostly successful results. The record lacks the breezy optimism of Midlake's previous work, but its artfully sustained mood and meticulous aesthetic-ornate British-style folk full of flutes and gently-plucked string instruments-are beautiful nonetheless. Although darker in tone and more heavily conceptual in presentation than anything the band has done before, the lovely, dark and deep songs reward those willing to invest the time.