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Thursday, 17 December 2020

The Trials of Van Occupanther


Recent references to The Trials of Van Occupanther  in a posting by the Great Gog at JC's place and my featuring of it from the compilation White Winter Hymnals had me popping across to Discogs for the first time this year to pick up a copy.

The second album from 2006 by the Denton, Texas band Midlake on the Bella Union label it seems already to have acquired semi-legendary status.

There are comparisons to the Laurel Canyon sound and to the likes of Fleetwood Mac,Peter Hammill, The Blue Nile, Radiohead and Grandaddy.

I'm glad I didn't read all that beforehand as with the  exception of Laurel Canyon and Grandaddy that would have probably put me off.

The Guardian states that  the songwriting is rich, delivering an almost hallucinatory mix of pianos, horns, guitars and painfully wistful reminisces. This could well end up one of 2006's best.

Pitchfork praised Roscoe but little else. Bella Union on the other hand lists a number oif admirers and suggests that it's influence has perhaps been felt in the breakthrough of many a band or singer at one with the stuff of beards, bucolic yearning and blissful West Coast harmonies, from Fleet Foxes to Band of Horses, The Low Anthem, Jonathan Wilson, Matthew E White and beyond.

Heady stuff. For what it's worth I like it and I'm glad I took the plunge

Midlake - Roscoe

Midlake - In This Camp


  1. I can hear a slight Radiohead influence there. THis is of course No Bad Thing.

  2. They seem to have a typo on their album sleeve

    1. Whereas I would like to blame them the typo was of course at this end.
      Now hopefully rectified

  3. A work colleague recommended this album to me 10+ years ago and after a couple of plays I fell under its spell. For me, at that time it had a magical quality about it. Haven't played it now for several years, perhaps I fear the spell might be broken. I've had that feeling down the years about certain albums but I'm happy to keep it that way. Visceral enjoyment.