Midas Fall: 'I describe it as miserable prog'
- Henry Northmore
- 8 October 2018
Scottish rock duo, Elizabeth Heaton and Rowan Burn, have just won a Progressive Music Award
Scottish duo Midas Fall make heartbreaking music full of light and shade, with big complicated tracks overflowing with rumbling riffs and dreamy vocals. Elizabeth Heaton and Rowan Burn seem to have an innate understanding of the juxtaposition of heavy and delicate passages for a sound roughly akin to Mogwai, Sigur Rós or Explosions in the Sky.
2018 has been a busy year for the band. Releasing third album Evaporate, being invited by The Cure's Robert Smith to play his Meltdown festival in London and winning the Limelight award at the Progressive Music Awards being obvious highlights. We caught up with guitarist Burn to find out more.
How did you and Elizabeth Heaton first start working together?
It was a long time ago, we were both in different bands in Edinburgh. I was in an instrumental rock band and Liz was in an indie band, she was trying to pull it in a prog direction but the other guys in the band were going in an upbeat funk direction. Both our bands weren't really doing much so we started writing together and very quickly we had a few songs and this was when MySpace was still around. Monotreme Records heard it and it happened very quickly from there. We hadn't been a band for very long, just a few months.
You seem to be associated with prog rock but how would you categorise your own music?
It's hard to say, we tried to find an appropriate genre for us to fit in and other people assigned genres over the years. It was only when we made Evaporate that 'prog' emerged and I was like 'I think that fits.' So I describe it as 'miserable prog.'
What is it about the contrast of light and heavy that appeals to you as musicians?
We didn't intentionally set out to make a particular sound, for one part to be heavy or another to be lighter, it just sort of happened. The last track on Evaporate, 'Howling at Clouds', I thought was quite a heavy track but there were a couple of reviews saying we ended on a quiet note so it's how you perceive it. Keeping the dynamics is what we both enjoy, playing live particularly, having those peaks and troughs.
Did you enjoy recording Evaporate?
We recorded it in the back bedroom at our house, except for drums on six of the tracks where we hired the Tummel Bridge Hall. Most of the album was recorded in a really tiny bedroom so it was probably the smallest recording experience.
How did it feel winning the Progressive Music Award?
It was super cool. We tried not to think about it too much, we never really considered there was any possibility we could win it. Then we did win. It was really surreal, we didn't write a speech so I gave this rambling speech at the awards but it was just wonderful, it was kind of humbling, it was a massive surprise. Prog magazine have been hugely supportive of the new album and it's really lovely to be appreciated in that way.
Evaporate (Monotreme Records) is out now.