Midlake - LateNightTales - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Midlake - LateNightTales

by James Bray Rating:8 Release Date:2011-03-28

LateNightTales is a strange beast, a compilation of tracks chosen by, in this instance, the venerable MIdlake, with a new track by the band thrown in for good measure.

This release demonstrates Midlake's approach to music; they are minstrels continuing a great tradition, rather than being big league folksters. With this compilation they have eschewed the alienation of big releases and big gigs gone for the intimacy of the mix tape. This kind of collection is an innovative way of reaffirming a band's relationship with its fans in an increasingly crowded market place.The prospect of a compilation CD might not appeal to everyone, and on first listen LateNightTales does sound a bit like a DJ set at a progressive Christian music festival. However, once you get over this, untold treats await.
The music on this record is folk-centric, but it's also hugely diverse. The songs range from the 60s to contemporary releases, and the styles go from rock to electronica. The pacing on the album is excellent and the songs seep into each other nicely. This record is reminiscent of the albums of great DJs like David Holmes. In these post-modern times this kind of release is actually quite apt; if you look at the likes of Gorillaz or Mark Ronson, their work is entirely collaborative and feels more like a DJ set than the work of single band in the studio. Midlake are doing this for the folk scene.
In the very best sense of the word, Midlake are a progressive band and they really are at the forefront of folk's renaissance. This album is great introduction to the canon of folk music, with songs from Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span and Sandy Denny. In saying that, the real joy of this record comes from less well known gems from artists like Scott Walker ('Copenhagen'), Beach House ('Silver Soul') and NIco ('These Days').
This album will allow you to discover all kinds of great music, both new and old. These late night tales will make you want to buy a record player and go searching for old Scott Walker albums.

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