Midsummer – Inside The Trees

Inside The Trees

It’s unusual that a band of Midsummer’s tenure and experience would just now be releasing a debut full-length album. After three EPs, a film score, a decade of playing together, and three years working on Inside The Trees, the LA band’s first LP is finally here.

It’s also unusual for a collection of tracks to contain many diverse musical styles navigating through various genres while being twisted into a different whole that is as aesthetically pleasing as it is technically solid. But Midsummer have managed to put together such an album, combining prog-ish post-rock and shimmering indie-rock with ambient soundscaping tendencies, to form something that sounds like a more rocked-out Album Leaf, or a mellower, less schizophrenic Most Serene Republic.

Melodic, piano-based orchestrations are used as a base from which the band build their tunes into a densely layered indie/art/prog/post-rock hybrid that includes brooding and dynamic instrumentals similar in style to Godspeed You Black Emperor! and shimmering, atmospheric indie-rock like Sigur Ros and Stafraenn Hakon. In addition, the ambitious endeavor displayed on Inside The Trees includes some open and soothing passages as well as more adventurous and exploratory musical segments that provide originality and distinction and are enjoyable to listen to.

Blasting guitars and smooth, deep bass lines wail over majestic keyboard passages while gently rolling drums and strings temper the mood. Louder, more dynamic rhythms build from softer, subtler tones to include periodic waves of placid keyboards and bright, fuzzy guitar leads. Midsummer do not follow any blueprint or stick to any one formula, but over the course of the record, similarities to all of the RIYLs permeates the music.

Inside The Trees is a bombastic and superior mix of hyphenated rock styles, executed with technical precision and polished with a surreal atmosphere. Anyone who enjoys any of the RIYLs should definitely check out this release.