Album Review – Midas Fall

Midas Fall

Midas Fall -‘The Menagerie Inside.’ (Monotreme)

Over the course of two great albums Eleven, Return and Revert and Wilderness, and the a couple of EPs, Midas Fall have set out their stall as a unique-sounding band. Led by Vocalist Elizabeth Heaton and guitarist Rowan Burn, their mixture of post-rock, progressive rock, electronica and trip-hop, topped off with those vocals and that guitar-work have made the band an exciting proposition to those who have encountered them.

So yes: I write this review as a confirmed and proud fan. But here’s the thing: even whilst I’m predisposed to enjoy this album, I truly hold The Menagerie Inside to be their best and most accomplished album yet. It starts right from the off with album opener ‘Push’ led by a classical sounding piano that owes far more to early twentieth century classical work than pop music of the last sixty years or so. Yet prog can sometimes be shorthand for self-indulgent and goes on forever – Midas Fall understand how to write rock songs and if they ever had tendencies to go on and on, there’s no evidence of that on their albums. The longest track here ‘The Morning Asked And I Said No’ is six and a half minutes long.

Looking back over past reviews of the band, I remember that I was initially sceptical when the first press release described Ms. Heaton’s vocals as haunting. Like ‘ethereal’ it’s a word that can make music critics suspicious through its overuse. But it definitely applies here, one of many things that makes this such an exciting record. It’s more keyboard driven than before and the violin on ‘Counting Colours’ could bring a tear to a glass eye.

How do I know I like this record so much? Well, given how many albums drop onto the mat and into my inbox I have no shortage of music to listen to. But I have kept coming back to this album, again and again. As well as the aforementioned songs, other highlights include ‘Tramadol Baby’ and ‘Counting Colours.’

Will this record appeal to everyone? I don’t know that there are many records that do, to be honest. But what I would hope is that this is the record that finally takes Midas Fall to the heights of commercial success that they so richly deserve.


The Menagerie Inside is out now on Monotreme

This Friday Night in Edinburgh!


This Friday night will see a gig I was supposed to be putting on at the Dalkeith Arts Centre moved to Edinburgh’s Cabaret Voltaire.

Midas Fall will be making their return to Edinburgh, to play their first gig here for nearly three years. With them will be Tom Morris from Her Name Is Call playing a solo set, and up and coming Edinburgh band Glassbooks.

Midas Fall released their sophomore album Wilderness last month (Read review here) and rather fine it is too.

Glassbooks, who I profiled back in January are in the middle of exams, but are taking a break to play this gig.

Be there!

Album Review: Midas Fall


Midas Fall -‘Wilderness’ (Monotreme)

Following on from their fine debut, 2010’s Eleven, Return and Revert, and the As Our Blood Separates EP, Midas Fall return with their sophomore album. It’s a welcome return and a step forward.

Support slots with the likes of Mono, 65daysofstatic and We Were Promised Jetpacks might led the unitiated to assume them to be another noisy post-rock/alternative band, but the thing that has always set Midas Fall apart from other bands is their use of electronica and what might once have been called trip-hop. But it’s topped off with the spectacular guitar work of Rowan Burn and above all, the vocals of Elizabeth Heaton.

When I first heard Midas Fall, I’d been wary after the press release had used words like ‘haunting’ and wondered if this was going to be lazy shorthand for bland. Then I heard Elizabeth’s voice and realised that haunting and ethereal were compliments here. Truly she owes as much to Elizabeth Fraser and Kate Bush as any other vocalist.

And it all adds up to an album that mixes so much in and begs to be played again and again. ‘BPD’ appeared on the EP -and it’s great to hear it again here. Album opener ‘the Unravelling King’ and the track doing the rounds for a few months ‘Your Heart,Your Words, Your Nerves’ are amongst the highlights.

This is an unjust world, and Midas Fall are still yet to receive the recognition that is truly due to them. When faced with injustices, we are obliged to challenge them. You know what to do…


Wilderness is out now on Monotreme, with the download available from next week

The return of Midas Fall


Having bigged up Midas Fall a couple of years ago
and rated their debut album Eleven, Return and Revert, it’s great to report that Midas Fall are to release a new EP.

Due out on February 6, the EP As Our Blood Separates features five songs; three new songs ‘BPD’ ‘As Our Blood Separates’ and ‘Carnival Song’ as well as a cover of Nine Inch Nails’ Hurt (very different from the original and the justly loved cover by Johnny Cash) and closes with a new remix of their song ‘Moviescreens’ which gained a cult following after being used in the soundtrack to the TV Series Lip Service. Elizabeth Heaton’s vocals still send a shiver down my spine…

Back in 2010 I described them as haunting and heartbreaking -and I continue to stand by that.

Midas Fall ‘BPD’ by Monotreme Records

Listen to their cover of Nine Inch Nails’ Hurt here:

Stream the entire EP here

Album Review – Midas Fall


Midas Fall -‘Eleven, Return and Revert.’ (Monotreme Records)

OK, so I’m hardly unbiased on this front, what with the blog, the label and the being based here ‘n’ all, but there is so much great music coming out of this wee country right now. When it comes to music, Scotland more than punches above its’ weight, and seems to be growing in confidence. Singing in own accents – acceptable (why did people sneer at the Proclaimers for it). Not moving to London to advance career – why did we have to wait for Franz Ferdinand to lead the way on this? Edinburgh – just as much to offer as Glasgow, cheers to broken Records for kicking people’s arses into gear. And being able to sound how you want – ah, that’s what I call independence!

And Midas Fall, based in Edinburgh and Glasgow are at the forefront of band shsowing how it can be done. Drawing on a range of influcences, they have songs to die for, and are forging an identity that is uniquely and distinctly theirs. They supported Mono is Glasgow recently, which is one aspect of their sound, but interviewing guitarist Rowan and singer Liz recently for this blog (which will appear here very soon, I promise), they also cited artists as diverse as Oceansize, Radiohead and Tool as having influenced their sound.

The opening track on the album ‘Movie Screens’ sets the tone here. Haunting and beautiful, in my first feature on them on here I wrote ‘Normally words like melodic and haunting in press releases are bywords for bland, but in this case, these adjectives are compliments.’ Liz’s vocals nod in the direction of almost namesake Liz Fraser and Bat For Lashes. I drove all the way to Glasgow to see the second half of their set one night, and it was certainly worth it!

I challenge you to listen to this album, and not fall for its’ charms. Your choice, my neck on the line – but ultimately, your loss if you don’t fall for Midas Fall. Oh, and in case you were wondering, there’s really nothing in the name at all, just they felt they couldn’t continue labouring under the moniker of merkin (beware if you google it). But there’s shure as heck something in these waters…


Eleven, Return and Revert is out on Monday on Monotreme Records.

Midas Fall -‘Movie Screens.’ mp3

Midas Fall’s myspace

Presenting…Midas Fall


Edinburgh band Midas Fall are taking the template for moody ethereal scottish indie and going some serious places with it, if the songs that make up their debut album Eleven. Return and Revert are anything to go by. And yes, that full stop is meant to be there.

The five piece are Elizabeth Heaton (Vocals, guitar, synths), Rowan Burn (guitar, piano), Brian Dunsmore (synths, piano, guitar), Jamie Scobie(bass) and Adam Ley-Lange (drums). Normally words like melodic and haunting in press releases are bywords for bland, but in this case, these adjectives are compliments. They cite Radiohead (I would go for circa OK Computer ) and Portishead amongst their influences, and I’d be surprised if the likes of Aereogramme, Mogwai and other scottish acts whose music evokes the dark but beautiful Caledonian winters hadn’t flitted across the bands’ stereos. They’re due to support Japanese post-rockers Mono in Glasgow soon, which should be a night and a half to behold.

The album is out in April 26 on Monotreme Records – and I sincerely hope that not only the scottish blogging community but the scottish music loving populace and further afield will take them to their hearts. They deserve it.

Get your ears around this:

Midas Fall -‘Movie Screens.’ mp3

Midas Fall perform Movie Screens live:

Pop along to their myspace page for live dates and to make friends