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Trials of Van Occupanther

MidlakeAudio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)

Price: $14.13 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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MP3 Music, 11 Songs, 2008 $8.99  
Audio CD, 2006 $14.13  
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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Roscoe 4:49$1.39  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Bandits 4:04$1.39  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Head Home 5:45$1.39  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Van Occupanther 3:15$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Young Bride 4:56$1.39  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Branches 5:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. In This Camp 5:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. We Gathered In Spring 3:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. It Covers The Hillsides 3:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Chasing After Deer 2:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. You Never Arrived 1:39$0.99  Buy MP3 

Amazon's Midlake Store


Image of album by Midlake


Image of Midlake


Rulers, Ruling All Things


An antiphon is a call-and-response style of singing, from Gregorian chants to sea shanties. In the case of Denton, Texas’ favorite sons Midlake, it’s the perfect title for a bold response to a new phase in the band’s illustrious career, with a re-jigged line-up and a newly honed sound as rich and symphonic as it is dynamic and kaleidoscopic.

Anyone who knows ... Read more in Amazon's Midlake Store

Visit Amazon's Midlake Store
for 8 albums, 6 photos, videos, and 3 full streaming songs.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Includes FREE MP3 version of this album Here's how (restrictions apply)

Frequently Bought Together

Trials of Van Occupanther + Antiphon + Courage of Others
Price for all three: $36.01

Buy the selected items together
  • Antiphon $10.00
  • Courage of Others $11.88

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 25, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Bella Union
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,509 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

The Trials of Van Occupanther channels Tusk-era Fleetwood Mac through Texas' answer to Thom Yorke. With lead track "Roscoe" gaining over 100k downloads within weeks of hitting the blogosphere and tours with the Flaming Lips in both the US & Europe, Midlake are poised for something bigger than flavor-of-the-day indie rock.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They gathered in spring December 22, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Midlake debuted with a sparkling collection of Grandaddy-covers-Flaming-Lipsesque rock, and they grow more into their fuzzy-folk-rock sound in their second full-length album, "The Trials of Van Occupanther, with swirling instrumentals, a rockier sound, and a feeling of pastoral unrest.

It opens with the rippling guitar and mellow vocals of "Roscoe," which sways through on a smooth folk-rocky path. "Stonecutters made them from stones/Chosen specially for you and I/Who will live inside?" sings Tim Smith, as he sings about rain-drenched gardens and cedar houses.

Then it's time for the melodic folk of "Bandits" and the rippling pop-rock of "Head Home." As the album goes on, Midlake tries out all sorts of music -- fluting folk about exhausted scientists, swirling lo-fi rock, exquisite piano ballads, sunny pastoral sounds, and mellow tunes about chasing after deer.

Listening to "The Trials of Van Occupanther" is like being outside on a late spring day, lying on the grass and watching the clouds drift by. Even when they try out some odder stuff, Midlake's second album is full of the beauty and awe of nature, in all sorts of ways. "For myself I must remind/that the woods are usually kind"...

The music is centered on the acoustic and electric guitar, forming swirls of psychedelic indiepop and gentle folk/dance. And there's plenty of solid percussion and sparklin sweeps of analog synth to keep it colorful, while other songs have the piano and a delicate flute behind them. One of the best moments is "Branches," an eerily adoring little ballad that slowly soars up.

And the lyrics are equally strong -- bittersweet and slightly fantastical.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting pastiche February 7, 2007
By J.C.
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Imagine this: Thom Yorke, having just finished Emerson's "Self-Reliance," finds Neil Young (who is carving bars of soap into deer, elk and bear shapes) and they decide to go jam at Blue Oyster Cult's house (I assume Blue Oyster Cult all live in the same house). On the way, they pick up Lindsay Buckingham, who just happens to be out splitting kindling as Thom and Neil, hastily-packed bags slung over their shoulders, a bottle of clear, home-brewed liquid being passed between them, amble by rosy cheeked and smiling. Peeking from the woods on the other side of the (dirt) road is Sufjan Stevens, obscured by trees, who, though unnoticed, tips his hat as if to say, "I ain't mad at'cha."

Yes, Midlake's influences obscure their songs on the first listen, but give this album some time, and it becomes pure Midlake and damn--oh so damn!--good.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highlight of Lollapalooza August 21, 2006
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I saw Midlake at festival recently and had never heard of them. The live set was strong enough to convince me to order some albums and I'm now a solid fan. The opening track, Roscoe, reminds me a bit of Adrian Belew, a bit of XTC and a whole lot of Midlake themselves. It's like suddenly realizing how Coldplay should sound. The music is layered and atmospheric with a bit of an eels feel. Midlake is definitely their own band, for all the influences I'm throwing out. They make the sort of music that feels old, like your favorite album you lost long ago. Try 'Roscoe' or 'Young Bride' for an indication of their style. If you like either of those, you need to buy the album.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A small miracle (almost) January 19, 2007
Format:Audio CD
Back in 2004 when I first heard it, I had not paid much attention to Midlake's first record, Bamnan and Silvercork; not that I found it a poor first effort from the Denton-based band, far from it, but I was left with the taste of something unfinished, with a band that was still working through their (impressive) list of influences. Two years later, I chanced upon a live recording of "Roscoe" and "Van Occupanther" on the radio and I knew that I was hearing something special, nothing short of a small miracle.

I find it intriguing that the name of Radiohead (probably my favorite band ever) should appear so often in reviews about this "Trials of Van Occupanther". If they have anything in common, it's probably this apparent (yet not so) staggering transformation from ugly little ducks to majestuous swans - although I would argue that in both cases, the seeds of their musical genius could already be found in their respective first albums.

Certainly, Radiohead has profoundly influenced Midlake (this is particularly obvious on "Branches", which would not have been out of place on an EP of the "Ok Computer" era), and in particular the singing of Tim Smith, but unlike many bands which are still clumsily struggling to comprehend the riches of "Ok Computer" or even "The Bends", Midlake has succeeded in not only understanding, but also seamlessly merging that influence with many others, Fleetwood Mac and America immediately springing to mind. As a result, "The Trials of...." proposes a musical landscape both familiar and foreign, drawn by layers upon layers of melodies deceivingly simple where you feel oddly at home although you've never quite been there before.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Required title
A great album of folkish pop with a lyrical story carried throughout the album that is maybe unnecessary. I only say that because the album is good enough to not need that quirk. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Paps
5.0 out of 5 stars They wanted to sound like Jethro Tull
...but I was immediately reminded of "Future Games" era Fleetwood Mac. In a good way. Midlake, comprising graduates of Austin, TX's prestigious North Texas State University... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Robert Gray
3.0 out of 5 stars It was ok.
This is an OK CD. I bought it for a song, and was less than impressed with the rest of the album.
Published 8 months ago by Renee
5.0 out of 5 stars Journey Through Time
I really enjoyed the songs on this album. I like the progression, I like the odd themes and subjects that seem to revolve around a mystical past we have never really known. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Jake
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely and soothin
I've been listening to this album a lot lately. It's really great when you need something light and soothing. Read more
Published 17 months ago by RHall
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb !!!!!!
Great item, missed out on the original vinyl pressing, but this was one of my all time favourite Cd's. Read more
Published on August 5, 2010 by omegaman
5.0 out of 5 stars Funky Acoustic Meets Indie
I absolutely loved this product. I went to see the band perform live, and they are fabulous. The music is a mix of indie rock with funky acoustic riffs (lots of guitar, piano, and... Read more
Published on February 10, 2010 by Logan Ellett
5.0 out of 5 stars This one grew on me until I now believe it to be Perfect album
I had this album for about a year until I really gave it a SERIOUS listen. You know what I mean... not a 'oh whats this new band' listen... Read more
Published on August 23, 2009 by C. Prescott
5.0 out of 5 stars mind/body/mind/body/ numbing bliss
My faves are Roscoe, Van Occupanther, and In This Camp. A record you can listen to indefinitely. In my opinion better than Coldplay and almost as good as Radiohead.
Published on August 20, 2009 by L. Mas Perron
3.0 out of 5 stars The Past Viewed through the Present's Lens
There are a number of songs from my youth in the 1970s and '80s that are brought to mind by this music -- mostly good stuff. Read more
Published on August 9, 2009 by Pundit 59
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