midlake - the courage of othersWith their beguiling 2006 album The Trials of Van Occupanther, Texas band Midlake were at the leading edge of a wave of beard music (Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes), but their sound was idiosyncratic, mixing Fleetwood Mac and Fairport Convention, ’70s California hippie rock and mystical ’60s English folk harmonies, in a way that sounded like nothing else.

On their follow-up, The Courage of Others, the band seems to have committed entirely to the hippie-mystical path. The synthesizers and electronic accents are gone, and most songs move at a stately, occasionally funereal pace. There’s less variation, more genre. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but in this case it’s a bit … heavy. I’m going to allow it time to grow on me though; this is a band that’s always rewarded repeat listens.

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This song is called “Bring Down.”

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