Best of the 2000’s Part 7: 2006

2006: Midlake The Trials of Van Occupanther (Bella Union)

Midlake’s first long-play, 2004’s Bamnan and Silvercork, revealed what the indie-folk group basically at the time: a bunch of music majors transferring their stilted classical and pop talents to transparent attempts at mimicking Radiohead and the Flaming Lips. On their next album, however, Midlake utilized the early-70’s production made famous on records by artists like Fleetwood Mac and Neil Young to lushly support a collection of songs about a rural scientist presumably born in 1891. The result was unforgettably beautiful, from the band’s intricate use of many-part harmonies, finger-picking and violins to mesmerizing lyrics about log cabins, fateful oceanic voyages and “chasing after deer.” How these boys from Denton, TX will follow up an accomplishment like Van Occupanther, we’re still waiting to hear…

Honorable mention: Sonic Youth Rather Ripped (Geffen), The Black Angels Passover (Light in the Attic)

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