Zooming from relative obscurity to a place of prominence on many critics' year-end top 10 lists with their polished second album, The Trials Of Van Occupanther, Midlake were one of the surprising success stories of 2006 thanks to much love from the blogosphere. Now that the album has finally received a Canadian release, it's not hard to see why. Their breezy, well-crafted tunes manage to combine a slightly oblique indie-rock sensibility with the peaceful, easy feeling of 70s AOR groups like the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac. Softly crooned odes to stonecutters, hunters and seafarers set to somewhat unusual progressions and accented by light-touch flute and French horn fills are gently engaging. However, the uniformity of song structure, tone and tempo, though initially captivating, soon becomes monotonous.
Midlake are joined by St. Vincent at Lee's Palace Monday (February 12).