Midway in Wake: We Will Remain Sedate
While singer-songwriter folk doesn’t always contribute to the musical lexicon by introducing anything ground breaking, there is a reason. Quite simply, there is no reason for it to change. No one has questioned Neil Young over the last several decades because what he does works. I am certainly not saying that Midway in Wake’s We Will Remain Sedate is After the Gold Rush or even Harvest Moon, but it is a great album none the less. The album alternates between gritty, thought provoking acoustic rock to fantasy-laden folk. There are several instances in which the album would serve as a great soundtrack to a paperback fantasy novel. Some of these tracks sound as though they would fit in quite well in the background of a dungeons and dragons game. These are certainly not negative criticisms. Perhaps we could all stand to escape to these fantasy worlds once in a while.
The album kicks off on a high note with the track “Urban Vermin” which makes great use of both an organ and a synthesizer, combined for an interesting sound that works better than anyone could reasonably expect. The track which follows, “Cut From the Cloth” is equally great. It is a beautiful but slow moving piece with a country sound, capturing the folk essence that the entire album displays perfectly. “Been There Far Too Long” rolls along quite nicely and fits well within the album, despite being relatively slow. Another highpoint comes with the track “Check and Checkmate” which has a very folk-oriented sound and reflects the fantastical feel that has been previously described. “And As You Were” is perhaps the weakest point of the entire album, containing a beat which seems a bit over-produced and fake, while also sounding far too busy. That clunker is redeemed by the track “Bible to Burn” a slow-paced acoustic jam which despite a slightly repetitive sound, shows the album as a whole is a great collection. The album concludes with “Requiem for the Masses” a slightly odd, and yet not entirely off-putting track which serves as an odd conclusion to a very strong album. The organ which fills the background of the track is subtle, yet powerful.
As a whole, Midway in Wake has created an album which serves as evidence of the mastery of personalized folk music. The songs may not appeal to a wide demographic, but they certainly can capture the soul and essence of their creator. This album is well worth a listen, just don’t plan on listening in passing, it will draw you in and keep you hooked.
MP3: Midway in Wake “Urban Vermin”