So Midlake is one of the bands whose influence I think you’ll be able to hear on the album, particularly on ’The Undertaker’. Probably less so on our first EP or even the upcoming one. But regardless of that, especially their album ’The Courage of Others’ made a huge impact on me and they definitely gave me confidence to pursue my own sound, homemade as it may be. If you haven’t checked out that album, you’re missing out. I’ve rarely heard such beauty put into earnest, maybe a bit left-field folk popsongs. Completely heartwarming.
One of the gigs on their European tour of that album was also one of the most memorable live experiences I’ve had. The band were in such great form and sounded amazing, but in a way I did somehow suspect that. So what really blew my mind that evening was actually the supporting act John Grant. He came on stage alone, sat down at his piano and straight off blew my mind with the first couple of chords. That voice, that raw power of his songs – Jesus! I remember the spit flying out through his teeth while delivering incredible and partly venomous stories of heartbreak and self-loathing. But so so elegant and beautiful. He just baffled me. I couldn’t find words. I just remember thinking ”Is this real?!” And then it turns out that the guys from Midlake played on his record. ’Queen of Denmark’ is a masterpiece in my books, equally deserving of that accolade as ’The Courage of Others’. Imagine the guys from Midlake being an integral part of two such amazing albums at the same time! I don’t know how they did it. Apparently they had some trouble getting their own album to sound right and just did the John Grant one sort of as a therapy session. Well, it paid off big time. Crazy…
I actually first thought of doing a cover of ’Roscoe’ but I guess I felt after a while that it was too obvious a choice and that there’d probably be a million covers of that one already. So I started on a version of the title track of ’The Courage of Others’. That incredible heavyness it starts off with is just right up my alley. But in the end I wasn’t having that either. So I fiddled around with ’Chasing After Deer’ after that, until I decided it had to be a song I could do on my own with just a guitar which finally brought me to ’Rulers, Ruling All Things’ and the version you can see and hear here.
So as you can see, sometimes it’s easy to decide on the band you want to cover but less obvious which song it’s going to be. I had my troubles with this one, but the first time I tried figuring out the chords to ’Rulers’ from memory I knew this was going to be it. I really hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed playing it!
Thanks for listening and you can expect the next cover to drop on the 24th!
P.S. Here's the original: