Midlake Share “Exile” Video

About to set off a US tour running throughout June, Midlake today share a video for new single “Exile”, one of the many highlights from their acclaimed new album, For The Sake Of Bethel Woods, released in March via Bella Union and ATO Records. Featuring content filmed across the band’s recent UK/EU April tour, the video can be viewed below…

Midlake UK / European live dates…

Sunday 4th September – Birmingham – Moseley Folk Festival

Tuesday 6th September – Istanbul – 100% Studio

Thursday 27th October – Norwich – The Waterfront

Friday 28th October – Leeds – Brudenell Social Club

Sunday 30th October – Bristol – Trinity Centre

Monday 31st October – Cambridge – Junction

Wednesday 2nd November – Utrecht – Ronda

Thursday 3rd November – Bruges – Cactus Club

Friday 4th November – Groningen – De Oosterpoort

Sunday 6th November – Copenhagen – Pumpehuset

Monday 7th November – Stockholm – Nalen

Tuesday 8th November – Oslo – Vulkan Arena

Wednesday 9th November – Gothenburg – Pustervik

Happy Release Day To Midlake

Today, Midlake make a triumphant return with their new album For The Sake Of Bethel Woods.

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 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, honouring their past as a seedbed of possibility.

The psychedelic space-rock and sticky guitars of ‘Exile’ shift the album to another plane, promising rich returns live, before ‘Feast of Carrion’ splices apocalyptic imagery with lustrous harmonies: darkness and light, held in rarefied balance. A deeply personal turn follows on ‘Noble,’ a song of tender innocence named after drummer McKenzie Smith’s infant son, born with a rare brain disorder called Semi-Lobar Holoprosencephaly. Pulido, who has been friends with McKenzie since they were 16 years old, kept McKenzie in mind for the lyrics. “I wrote the song from his perspective in a way, his expression to me of how he had been feeling towards his son. And then among the lament of his condition, it’s also embracing this child who has only joy. Noble doesn’t know that he has a condition, he just loves life. And smiles, and is so innocent, and perfect in so many ways.”

Elsewhere, the prog-enhanced funk-rock of ‘Gone’ seeks to find hope in relationships that seem fragile. The ELO-esque ‘Meanwhile…’ draws inspiration from what happened when Midlake paused after Antiphon, developing universal resonance as a song about the beautiful growths that can emerge from the cracks and gaps between things. ‘Finally, ‘Of Desire’ meditates on letting go of what you can’t control and attending to what you can during uncertain times.

Midlake began re-attending to their patch in 2019, with the bulk of the album’s work undertaken when the world shut down in 2020. The lockdown turned out to be helpful, in terms of offering an escape from grim reality and focusing the band’s energies – essential for an outfit whose members (Pulido, Chandler, Smith, Eric Nichelson and Joey McClellan) had all pursued alternative ventures following Antiphon. Also on-hand was new collaborator John Congleton, who produced, engineered and mixed the album, marking Midlake’s first record with an outside producer. “I can’t say enough just how much his influence brought our music to another sonic place than we would have,” says Pulido. “I don’t want to record without a producer again. Part of that is the health of the band, because as you get older you get more opinionated and you kind of need that person who says, ‘No, it’s going to be this way!’ It’s hard to do that with your friends.”

The result is a powerful, warming expression of resolve and renewal for Midlake, opening up new futures for the band and honouring their storied history. An album of thematic and sonic reach with a warm, wise sense of intimacy at its heart, an album to break bread and commune with, honour the past and travel onwards with. In ‘Bethel Woods’, Pulido sings of gathering seeds. On For the Sake of Bethel Woods, those seeds are lovingly nurtured, taking rich and spectacular bloom.

“Layered, sophisticated and melodic.” MOJO – 4 stars ****

“Texan folk-rockers return in leaner, more dynamic form… For The Sake Of Bethel Woods secures Midlake’s future, running on a newly energised course.” Uncut – 7/10

“Their fifth album is perhaps their most purely enjoyable. The album mulls over time, illness and innocence, while the sprits of Neil Young and Stephen Stills set the temperature.” Classic Rock – 8/10

“The playing is exhilarating – “Feast Of Carrion” sounds like Nursery Cryme-era Genesis meeting Crosby, Still & Nash, and the hi-life guitar figure on “Glistening” is fabulous.

For those waiting for Van Occupanther IIFor The Sake Of Bethel Woods comes pretty close.” PROG

“A compelling song cycle woven around the location of Woodstock. A thoughtful, sonically dense return.” Shindig – 4 stars ****

Midlake Perform “Noble”

With their acclaimed new album For the Sake of Bethel Woods due out this Friday, following a number of high-profile SXSW appearances this week (info below), Midlake today share a live performance of the recently released track “Noble” from the LP. One of the most personal and moving songs from the album, the song is named after drummer McKenzie Smith’s infant son “Noble” who was born with a rare brain disorder. Filmed at Modern Electric Sound Recorders in Dallas, Texas, the video is the third in a series of live performances the band have shard ahead of the album’s release. Directed by Rett Rogers, the performance can be viewed below…

Early acclaim for For the Sake of Bethel Woods:

“Layered, sophisticated and melodic.” MOJO – 4 stars ****

“Texan folk-rockers return in leaner, more dynamic form… For The Sake Of Bethel Woods secures Midlake’s future, running on a newly energised course.” Uncut – 7/10

“Their fifth album is perhaps their most purely enjoyable. The album mulls over time, illness and innocence, while the sprits of Neil Young and Stephen Stills set the temperature.” Classic Rock – 8/10

“The playing is exhilarating – “Feast Of Carrion” sounds like Nursery Cryme-era Genesis meeting Crosby, Still & Nash, and the hi-life guitar figure on “Glistening” is fabulous.

For those waiting for Van Occupanther IIFor The Sake Of Bethel Woods comes pretty close.” PROG

“A compelling song cycle woven around the location of Woodstock. A thoughtful, sonically dense return.” Shindig – 4 stars ****

Midlake Debut “Noble”

With their upcoming album For the Sake of Bethel Woods due out 18th March via Bella Union, and having recently been featured in The Guardian, Midlake today share new track “Noble”, one of the most personal and moving songs from the LP. 

The song is named after drummer McKenzie Smith’s infant son “Noble” who was born with a rare brain disorder. Of the track frontman Eric Pulido says: “Noble was born with a rare brain disease. When he was born, we were told the life expectancy of most children with his disease was between 6 months to 2 years. The heavy nature of Noble’s condition and the new reality for my friend and bandmate McKenzie (and his wife and daughter) wasn’t something we took lightly. We were really excited to create this song for him and for Noble to not only acknowledge the struggle but to also celebrate this amazing and beautiful boy. The wonderful news is that more than 2 years later, Noble is still here with us! He has beaten so many odds already and continues to amaze and prove to us how incredibly strong he is. His life is extremely challenging on many levels, so every day we have with him is a precious gift.” Click here to donate and support.

Early acclaim for For the Sake of Bethel Woods:

“Layered, sophisticated and melodic.” MOJO – 4 stars ****

“Texan folk-rockers return in leaner, more dynamic form… For The Sake Of Bethel Woods secures Midlake’s future, running on a newly energised course.” Uncut – 7/10

“A compelling song cycle woven around the location of Woodstock. A thoughtful, sonically dense return.” Shindig – 4 stars ****

Watch Midlake Perform “Bethel Woods”

With their long-awaited new album For the Sake of Bethel Woods due out 18th March via Bella Union, and having recently shared a video for current single “Bethel Woods” which features acclaimed actor Michael Peña, Midlake today follow up with a live performance video of the track. Filmed at Modern Electric Sound Recorders in Dallas, Texas, the video is the second in a number of live performances the band will share ahead of the album’s release. Directed by Rett Rogers, the performance can be viewed further down.

Of the track Midlake frontman Eric Pulido says: “Bethel Woods lyrically was born out of a documentary film still of Dave Chandler (Jesse’s Dad) at 16 years old sitting in the massive crowd of Woodstock in 1969. Dave died a few years ago in tragic circumstances and I was moved to write this song from his point of view with a message of peace in returning to that special place and reuniting with loved ones ‘down the road’.”

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 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, honouring their past as a seedbed of possibility.

The psychedelic space-rock and sticky guitars of ‘Exile’ shift the album to another plane, promising rich returns live, before ‘Feast of Carrion’ splices apocalyptic imagery with lustrous harmonies: darkness and light, held in rarefied balance. A deeply personal turn follows on ‘Noble,’ a song of tender innocence named after drummer McKenzie Smith’s infant son, born with a rare brain disorder called Semi-Lobar Holoprosencephaly. Pulido, who has been friends with McKenzie since they were 16 years old, kept McKenzie in mind for the lyrics. “I wrote the song from his perspective in a way, his expression to me of how he had been feeling towards his son. And then among the lament of his condition, it’s also embracing this child who has only joy. Noble doesn’t know that he has a condition, he just loves life. And smiles, and is so innocent, and perfect in so many ways.”

Elsewhere, the prog-enhanced funk-rock of ‘Gone’ seeks to find hope in relationships that seem fragile. The ELO-esque ‘Meanwhile…’ draws inspiration from what happened when Midlake paused after Antiphon, developing universal resonance as a song about the beautiful growths that can emerge from the cracks and gaps between things. ‘Finally, ‘Of Desire’ meditates on letting go of what you can’t control and attending to what you can during uncertain times.

Midlake began re-attending to their patch in 2019, with the bulk of the album’s work undertaken when the world shut down in 2020. The lockdown turned out to be helpful, in terms of offering an escape from grim reality and focusing the band’s energies – essential for an outfit whose members (Pulido, Chandler, Smith, Eric Nichelson and Joey McClellan) had all pursued alternative ventures following Antiphon. Also on-hand was new collaborator John Congleton, who produced, engineered and mixed the album, marking Midlake’s first record with an outside producer. “I can’t say enough just how much his influence brought our music to another sonic place than we would have,” says Pulido. “I don’t want to record without a producer again. Part of that is the health of the band, because as you get older you get more opinionated and you kind of need that person who says, ‘No, it’s going to be this way!’ It’s hard to do that with your friends.”

The result is a powerful, warming expression of resolve and renewal for Midlake, opening up new futures for the band and honouring their storied history. An album of thematic and sonic reach with a warm, wise sense of intimacy at its heart, an album to break bread and commune with, honour the past and travel onwards with. In ‘Bethel Woods’, Pulido sings of gathering seeds. On For the Sake of Bethel Woods, those seeds are lovingly nurtured, taking rich and spectacular bloom.

For the Sake of Bethel Woods is available to preorder here.

Midlake Share “Bethel Woods” Video

With their new album For the Sake of Bethel Woods due out 18th March via Bella Union, and following first single “Meanwhile…” , today Midlake share an absorbing video for new single and album standout “Bethel Woods” directed by Brantley Gutierrez (Paul McCartney, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Diplo) and starring acclaimed actor Michael Peña.

Of the track Midlake frontman Eric Pulido says: “Bethel Woods lyrically was born out of a documentary film still of Dave Chandler (Jesse’s Dad) at 16 years old sitting in the massive crowd of Woodstock in 1969. Dave died a few years ago in tragic circumstances and I was moved to write this song from his point of view with a message of peace in returning to that special place and reuniting with loved ones ‘down the road’.”

Director Brantley Gutierez adds: “When Midlake approached me to direct the video for ‘Bethel Woods’ I knew I wanted to do a take on a ghost story. To play with the idea of returning to a place full of memories. The concept of emotional attachment to the people and the memories in those places, what the confusion might feel like for those who have passed on. Working with the highly talented Michael Peña was an absolute pleasure; he brought something to the character that felt honest and relatable.”

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 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, honouring their past as a seedbed of possibility.

The psychedelic space-rock and sticky guitars of ‘Exile’ shift the album to another plane, promising rich returns live, before ‘Feast of Carrion’ splices apocalyptic imagery with lustrous harmonies: darkness and light, held in rarefied balance. A deeply personal turn follows on ‘Noble,’ a song of tender innocence named after drummer McKenzie Smith’s infant son, born with a rare brain disorder called Semi-Lobar Holoprosencephaly. Pulido, who has been friends with McKenzie since they were 16 years old, kept McKenzie in mind for the lyrics. “I wrote the song from his perspective in a way, his expression to me of how he had been feeling towards his son. And then among the lament of his condition, it’s also embracing this child who has only joy. Noble doesn’t know that he has a condition, he just loves life. And smiles, and is so innocent, and perfect in so many ways.”

Elsewhere, the prog-enhanced funk-rock of ‘Gone’ seeks to find hope in relationships that seem fragile. The ELO-esque ‘Meanwhile…’ draws inspiration from what happened when Midlake paused after Antiphon, developing universal resonance as a song about the beautiful growths that can emerge from the cracks and gaps between things. ‘Finally, ‘Of Desire’ meditates on letting go of what you can’t control and attending to what you can during uncertain times.

Midlake began re-attending to their patch in 2019, with the bulk of the album’s work undertaken when the world shut down in 2020. The lockdown turned out to be helpful, in terms of offering an escape from grim reality and focusing the band’s energies – essential for an outfit whose members (Pulido, Chandler, Smith, Eric Nichelson and Joey McClellan) had all pursued alternative ventures following Antiphon. Also on-hand was new collaborator John Congleton, who produced, engineered and mixed the album, marking Midlake’s first record with an outside producer. “I can’t say enough just how much his influence brought our music to another sonic place than we would have,” says Pulido. “I don’t want to record without a producer again. Part of that is the health of the band, because as you get older you get more opinionated and you kind of need that person who says, ‘No, it’s going to be this way!’ It’s hard to do that with your friends.”

The result is a powerful, warming expression of resolve and renewal for Midlake, opening up new futures for the band and honouring their storied history. An album of thematic and sonic reach with a warm, wise sense of intimacy at its heart, an album to break bread and commune with, honour the past and travel onwards with. In ‘Bethel Woods’, Pulido sings of gathering seeds. On For the Sake of Bethel Woods, those seeds are lovingly nurtured, taking rich and spectacular bloom.

For the Sake of Bethel Woods is available to preorder here. The album will be released in various formats including standard black vinyl and 180g white vinyl with an accompanying signed print.