“Exile” by Midlake

Midlake have shared a video for the new single “Exile”, a track lifted from their album, For The Sake of Bethel Woods, released last March via ATO Records. The new clip features content filmed across the band’s recent UK/EU April tour.

Loss and hope, isolation and communion, the cessation, and renewal of purpose – timeless and salient, these themes echo throughout the fifth album from Midlake, their first since Antiphon in 2013. Produced to layered, loving perfection by John Congleton, For the Sake of Bethel Woods is an album of immersive warmth and mystery from a band of ardent seekers, one of our generation’s finest: a band once feared lost themselves by fans, perhaps, but here revivified with freshness of intent.

From the cover to the title and beyond, a longing to reconnect with that which seems lost sits at the record’s core. The cover star is keyboardist/flautist Jesse Chandler’s father, who, tragically, passed away in 2018. As singer Eric Pulido explains, “He was a lovely human, and it was really heavy and sad, and he came to Jesse in a dream. I reference it in a song. He said, ‘Hey, Jesse, you need to get the band back together.’ I didn’t take that lightly. We had already had these feelings with everyone in the band of, oh, this could be a cool thing to do. But the dream was a kind of beautiful depiction of a purpose to reconvene and make music together as friends.”

Featuring Chandler’s father during John Sebastian’s set, the cover image was taken from the 1970 documentary Woodstock. In 1969, Jesse’s then-16-year-old dad had joined a friend and hitchhiked from Ridgewood, New Jersey, to the legendary festival. Raised in Woodstock after his father moved there in 1981, Jesse later paid a pilgrimage to Bethel Woods with his father; there, the elder Chandler recorded an audio account of his festival experience in the museum’s public database. “So for me, the picture of that kid, my dad, forever frozen in time,” says Chandler, “encapsulates what it means to be in the throes of impressionable and fleeting youth, and all that the magic of music, peace, love and communion bring to it, whether one knows it at the time or not.”

A desire to commune with the past and connect with present, lived experience asserts itself from the opening of the album. A song that resonates with Midlake’s return and, perhaps, our lockdown era, ‘Commune’ can also be read in terms of a deeper urge to re-engage with sometimes neglected ideals and beliefs. ‘Bethel Woods’ sustains and develops that reconnection, evoking the steadfast and contemplative urgency of The Trials of Van Occupanther to back a lyric steeped in yearning for a paradisal time and place of hope and optimism. Soaring guitars and atmospheric noise effects extend a sonic scope further developed by ‘Glistening,’ where arpeggios dance like light glancing off a lake. In just three songs, Midlake reintroduce themselves and reach out into fresh territory with a richly intuitive dynamism, honoring their past as a seedbed of possibility.

Midlake
For The Sake of Bethel Woods
ATO Records
Tracklist

Commune
Bethel Woods
Glistening
Exile
Feast of Carrion
Noble
Gone
Meanwhile…
Dawning
The End
Of Desire

Midlake 2022 Tour Dates

JUNE

5 – Santa Fe, NM – Meow Wolf
7 – Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom
8 – Joshua Tree, CA – Pappy & Harriet’s
10 – Los Angeles, CA – Troubadour
11 – Sonoma, CA – Huichica Festival *
12 – San Francisco, CA – The Chapel
15 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
16 – Seattle, WA – The Triple Door
17 – Vancouver, BC – Hollywood Theatre
19 – Salt Lake City, UT – The State Room
21 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theatre

SEPTEMBER

4 – Birmingham, UK – Moseley Folk Festival
6 – Istanbul, TU – 100% Studio

OCTOBER

27 – Norwich, UK – The Waterfront
28 – Leeds, UK – Brudenell Social Club
30 – Bristol, UK – Trinity Centre
31 – Cambridge, UK – Junction

November

2 – Utrecht, NL – Ronda
3 – Bruges, BE – Cactus Club
4 – Groningen, NL – De Oosterpoort
6 – Copenhagen, DK – Pumpehuset
7 – Stockholm, SW – Nalen
8 – Oslo, NO – Vulkan Arena
9 – Gothenburg, SW – Pustervik