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Late Night Tales - Album Minimix
Apr 11, 2011
Total plays:
4 times
Why do we like this?
For those of you unfamiliar with it, LateNightTales is a label, as well as a series of releases (now going ten years strong) of playlists. But as the name suggests (and thankfully LNT is able to achieve this), they are usually strung together expertly with charm and occasionally mystique, reflecting not only the musical influences of the artists making them, but something new and imaginative in the process.

Artists like The Flaming Lips, Groove Armada, Belle & Sebastian, Cinematic Orchestra, Air, and Arctic Monkeys have put together this compilation in the past; now Midlake brings you another beautiful album. And while I wasn't a fan of Midlake's third full-length Courage of Others, their choices on this compilation are some of the strongest so far in the series.

Consisting of 19 tracks, the album centres squarely around the folk mark (unsurprisingly), with songs from little known Bob Carpenter ("Silent Passage"), Fairport Convention ("Genesis Hall") and Sandy Denny ("Carnival"). It is a blend of traditional rural English folk and American folk/country (Scott Walker, for instance). You can see where the seeds were first planted for Courage of Others, and the more earthy, organic feel of that work. In this way, the fact that the majority of the music is from the 1970s naturally helps, reflecting the baroque style of the time.

Lastly, the compilation is punctured. Like a ready-prepared meal of folk slipping into the microwave, numbers by Bjork, Beach House, and Midlake themselves ("Am I Going Insane"- a Black Sabbath cover) help give breathing space.

I would say if you like folk, then buy this album; instead, I'll say buy it if you like Midlake - or any modern variant on them (such as Fleet Foxes, Joanna Newsom, etc). There is a whole host of new artists to discover for those with a hankering towards the folk end of the rock/pop spectrum who are not yet aware of the excellent and understated brilliance of some little-known legends.
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