Founded in the quiet farm town of Sulphur Springs, Texas—"Where people still say 'please' and 'thank you,'" as its chamber of commerce notes—Fair to Midland
have become one of the most idiosyncratic musical forces in the Lone Star State. But as singer Darroh Sudderth—who rounds out FTM's current lineup with guitarist Cliff Campbell, drummer Brett Stowers, bassist Jon Dicken, and keyboardist/electronics manipulator Matt Langley—explains, idiosyncrasy also helps give the band its internal power.
"For the most part, our musical tastes are completely different," Suddereth begins. "All of our songs are just us trying to find a happy medium between what everyone in the band listens to—and I think that actually being able to do that is what makes us so different from a lot of other bands today."
"Disciplined stream-of-consciousness" is an apt phrase to describe Fair to Midland's music, which deftly fuses hard rock with art rock, shot through with soaring vocals, virtuosic guitars, allegorical lyrics, a driving rhythm section and richly woven keyboards. This stream-of-consciousness is impressively showcased on Fables From a Mayfly
, the band's full-length debut being jointly released by Universal Republic and Serjical Strike (Serj Tankian from System of a Down
's own imprint) on June 12.
With songs such as "Kyla Cries Cologne," "April Fools and Eggmen," "A Wolf Descends Upon The Spanish Sahara," and "Dance of the Manatee" (the album's first single which is currently taking radio by storm) the band captures the ear with unparalleled force, coupled with rich orchestration reminiscent of Queen
and hard rock dynamism in the vein of Tool
, King Crimson
and Mars Volta
And if their song titles sound more like names of paintings, this may be intentional; they do reflect the grandeur of Fair to Midland's music: sparkling, but not ostentatious...beautiful, but not overwhelming...powerful, but not pummeling.
Catch Fair to Midland live during their spring tour or see them at Coachella on April 29.
Fair to Midland Tour Dates:
3/25 Memphis, TN @ Newbys w/ Flyleaf
3/27 Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live w/ Flyleaf
3/28 Beaumont, TX @ Antone's w/ Flyleaf
3/30 San Antonio, TX @ White Rabbit w/ Flyleaf
4/1 New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues w/ Flyleaf
4/2 Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade w/ Flyleaf
4/4 Columbia, SC @ Headliners w/ Flyleaf
4/5 Jacksonville, FL @ Hooligans w/ Flyleaf
4/6 Charlotte, NC @ Tremont Music Hall w/ Flyleaf
4/9 Chambersburg, PA @ Chambersburg High School w/ Flyleaf
4/10 Millvale, PA @ Mr. Small's theater w/ Flyleaf
4/11 Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall w/ Flyleaf
4/13 Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall w/ Flyleaf
4/14 Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart's w/ Flyleaf
4/15 Chicago, IL @ House of Blues w/ Flyleaf
4/17 Madison, WI @ Barrymore theater w/ Flyleaf
4/18 Papillion, NE @ The Rock
4/20 Minneapolis, MN @ Trocaderos w/ Flyleaf
4/21 West Dundee, IL @ Clearwater Theater w/ Poison the Well, Fear Before the March of Flames, Portugal the Man
4/21 Des Moines, IA @ House of Bricks w/ Poison the Well, Fear Before the March of Flames, Portugal the Man
4/23 Sauget, IL Pop's @ w/ Flyleaf
4/24 Indianapolis, IN @ University of Indiana, Ransburg Auditorium w/ Flyleaf
4/25 Knoxville, TN @ Blue Cats w/ Flyleaf
4/29 Indio, CA @ Coachella, Empire Polo Field
Listen to 'Vice Versa'
-Fair To Midland on Starpulse
-Fair To Midland's MySpace Page
(Streaming audio and/or video links may expire without notice)