I don’t know if it is more possible to meet the terms of what we’re looking for in an artist here at MWA than a band literally called Midwest. They are born and raised Midwesterners who embody exactly the vibe/feel of what this flat(ish) part of this grand country is all about it.
Soul, folk, blue grass, little bit of acoustic rock/blues, the list just keeps going on what this band is all about. I couldn’t pick just one song from their 2014 EP Come On Home, so I decided to just take a listen to the whole thing. Best decision I’ve made this week.
Like a breeze through the cornfields that served as their inspiration, the EP starts off with a nice swell and calm rise. The guitar mixed with fiddle/violin just compliments so well and creates a very nice lead track. Swelling continues into a nice echoing tune that takes the listener across a couple very familiar Midwestern states.
Moving through the album is simple. Each track blends into the next perfectly and creates a new vibe for the listener to get lost in. Into “God Be Careful” comes a soulful track of heartbreak and love. From there it’s a nice roll into “I’ve Got Your Man”, which is a perfect track to describe what this album is about.
Masterful and soft tones from the piano start the track and lead into sad vocals and a heartbreaking bass lines helping to emphasize the theme of lost/stolen love. Bring in the two part harmonies, skillfully delivered into the main swell of the track, you have one of the most amazing elements that Midwest brings to their music. If you don’t get a tear in your eye listening to this track, then I guess you’re just not human.
You can’t have all that heartbreak without heading to your local Midwestern watering hole (that’s a bar for you folks not familiar). In “Marlin Bar” we continue to hear the sad stories, but at least this time we have some drinks to drink the pain away.
How do end out an album like this? They decided to go with the plucking guitar and violin to bring us out in “Only You”. Toss in those famous two part harmonies again, complimented by the bass lines, and you have a top grade formula that makes Midwest the band they are. Self described as “…whiskey-soaked lullabies; music that is born out of cornfields, cold winters and rust belt love letters.” is a perfect way to sum up what this album is.
The Midwest is a pretty great place live and this band is a great example of the foundation we’re built on. Folksy history, hard work, heartbreak, the occasional drink here and there (mostly here), and some really great music. This EP is a great piece of music that you can easily toss on during a nice summer day or even in the chilly fall/winter and find a smile on your face.
You can hear more from Midwest on their Soundcloud page. Also be sure to keep up with their social media, they’re moving all over the place days, playing shows as far up as Canada, and you’ll want to see when they’re coming to a town near you. You can also keep an eye on that corn stalk filled horizon as their newest album is coming soon.