After nearly a decade away, Midlake are gearing up to release their fifth studio album, which is the band’s first since 2013. It’s called For the Sake of Bethel Woods and arrives March 18th, 2022 via ATO Records in the States and Bella Union in the UK. As a preview, the Texas folk rockers have shared “Meanwhile…,” the record’s first single.
For the Sake of Bethel Woods marks Midlake’s first time working with an outside producer, having teamed up with studio vet John Congleton, whose recent credits include St. Vincent, Sharon Van Etten, and Explosions in the Sky. The album is billed as a “warming expression of resolve and renewal,” signaling Midlake’s turning of a new leaf while staying true to their origins.
“At age 16 my father and his friend hitchhiked from Ridgewood, NJ to the Woodstock festival in 1969,” band member Jesse Chandler says of the album’s origins and striking artwork. “This image of him with his hand to his face appears in the 1970 Woodstock documentary, as the camera pans across the crowd during John Sebastian’s set.”
Chandler continued, “My father actually ended up moving to Woodstock, NY — where I grew up — in 1981. For me, the picture of that kid, my dad, forever frozen in time, encapsulates what it means to be in the throes of impressionable and fleeting youth, and all that the magic of music, peace, love, and communion bring to it, whether one knows it at the time or not (I think he knew it).”