Mipso will release their eponymous debut for Rounder on October 16. Mipso, the highly anticipated follow-up to the North Carolina quartet’s acclaimed 2018 album Edges Run, furthers the band’s ever-growing reputation as a potent musical force.
Mipso arrives as the group’s most communally realized work to date – a triumph that’s especially remarkable considering they discussed breaking up after the release of Edges Run. But Mipso’s members – Wood Robinson, Libby Rodenbough, Jacob Sharp, and Joseph Terrell, each a songwriter and lead singer in the band – doubled down on their commitment to each other.
They emerged with the strongest artistic statement of their career thus far. As Sharp notes, “With this album we learned how to celebrate and amplify what’s different about each of us, rather than compromising in a way that just buries those differences.”
Your Body is available today from all digital service providers. Listen here. The song, written by Rodenbough, conveys a subtle, powerful message. As she explains, “It’s a song about something I struggle with, which is how I want to present my body to the world, especially as the only woman onstage most nights in our band.”
For Mipso, the band collaborated with producer, Sandro Perri, toward the goal of shaping a sonic landscape that is expansive and atmospheric yet also personal – “like an intimate voiceover to a dream sequence,” as Terrell puts it. To that end, the band formed Mipso’s resplendent textures by pushing the limits of their acoustic instruments, a feat that included Rodenbough’s expressive use of sweeping violin harmonics to generate synth-like tones, Terrell’s experimentation with foam to dampen acoustic guitars to produce the staccato warmth of a mbira, and more.
At the same time, Mipso got inventive in their use of percussion, sculpting the album’s kinetic rhythms with everything from congas to an old turtle shell. With additional musical contributions by artful engineer/guitarist, Mark Goodell, (Julian Lage, Margaret Glaspy), Mipso’s touring drummer, Yan Westerlund, and their longtime collaborator, Shane Leonard (on banjo, percussion, and synth), the result is a body of work with spacious arrangements that gently illuminate the idiosyncratic details and refined musicianship at the heart of every song.
Despite venturing into many new directions, Mipso preserves certain elements that have defined the band since their still-beloved 2013 debut Dark Holler Pop: their finely layered vocal harmonies, a shared fluency in and fascination with North Carolina’s timeless musical traditions, a near-telepathic musical connection and familiarity with each other’s strengths.
In looking back on the making of Mipso, Terrell refers to the album as “a recommitment to the reasons we want to make music together,” a factor reflected in their decision to self-title the record. “These songs are full of frustration and alienation and wistfulness, but they don’t come from drowning out the noise of the world—they come from getting better at listening to it, and learning to translate it,” says Terrell. “I hope they can give people a bit of insight into the problems we’ve worked out among ourselves, and the love that we have for each other.”
1. Never Knew You Were Gone
2. Hey, Coyote
4. Your Body
6. Just Want to Be Loved
8. Big Star
9. Let a Little Light In
10. Like You Never
12. Wallpaper Baby