Midlake rose into national attention slowly over the span of the last decade with a unique style that plays loose with guitar parts and instrumentation, debuting in 2004 with the psychadelic styling of album Bamnan and Silvercork.
The tone shifted abruptly late last year when lead singer and primary songwriter Tim Smith departed the band to start his own project. His departure wasn’t exactly timed well, as the band had been in the middle of producing a new album.
The recordings were scrapped and the band begun a new recording, this time with guitarist Eric Pulido playing the role of lead singer. There’s no doubt that this is a new sound for the band, but with a past engrossed with tweaks to style and sound, they seem to have been making the transition smoothly. Their newly released album Antiphon attests to this. Take a listen to the title track below.
In an interesting twist, Pulido told MOJO in an interview earlier this year that the album and its title were a response to Smith’s departure: “The original Antiphon was an orator in Ancient Greece who was part of an oligarch that fought democracy. But we didn’t overthrow Tim! He’s not Antiphon.”
Despite the sedate gesture, the term almost seems to suggest that the breakup was a matter of clashing creative direction between bandleader and band. But Pulido proves to be a strong vocalist, imbibing the band’s colorful arrangements with a fresh energy and a little bit of a solemn sound. The new record dropped last month and the band has just begun to tour on it – it’ll be interesting to see where they go from here.