Mipso 2021
Photo: Courtesy of Rounder Records

Mipso Journey to the “Big Star” Inside Us

“Big Star” from acoustic string quartet Mipso captures the band’s roots in primitive Appalachian sonics and auditory adventures into space-age sounds.

Maybe it’s because North Carolina’s Mipso are going to tour internationally after being pandemically restricted, or perhaps it’s just in the mind of video director Allison Grosso, but the band’s new video “Big Star” features them on a trippy future journey through the ancient universe. It’s a place of detritus and promise, childhood dreams, and adult nightmares. The landscape features ruins and rocket ships, aliens and barn dances, stuffed owls, and fractured skulls. The thing is, the psychedelic visuals seem appropriate to the music, especially to one who has eaten the candy from Colorado, as mentioned in the lyrics.

Mipso are a modern acoustic string quartet (fiddle player Libby Rodenbough, mandolinist Jacob Sharp, guitarist Joseph Terrell, and bassist Wood Robinson). Rodenbough takes the vocal lead on “Big Star”. She sings in a subdued, haunting voice that seems reminiscent of omniscient computers in old sci-fi movies. The video uses a stripped-down, early recording of the song recently released as a b-side bonus track.

The song “Big Star” captures the band’s roots in primitive Appalachian sonics and auditory adventures into space-age sounds. The tension between these elements causes one to question the present moment in the best sense. It makes one wonder where one is in space in time. Are scientists right—are we really traveling 500 miles per second when standing in one place? How fast are our thoughts anyway? Or, as the Moody Blues used to croon, “Speeding through the universe / Thinking is the best way to travel.” Mipso’s forthcoming self-titled album will be released on Rounder Records this October.


TOUR DATES

US
09 / 11 Chattanooga, TN / Moon River Music Festival
09 / 12 Charleston, WV / Mountain Stage
09 / 17 Seattle, WA / Nectar Lounge*
09 / 18 Portland, OR / Mississippi Studios*
09 / 19 Coos Bay, OR / 7 Devils Brewing*
09 / 21 Sacramento, CA / Goldfield Trading Post*
09 / 23 San Francisco, CA / The Chapel*
09 / 24 Morro Bay, CA / The Siren*
09 / 25 Los Angeles, CA / The Echo
09 / 26 San Diego, CA / Casbah*
09 / 28 Flagstaff, AZ / Yucca North ^
09 / 29 Santa Fe, NM / Tumbleroot Brewery ^
09 / 30 Fort Collins, CO / The Armory ^
10 / 01 Boulder, CO / Fox Theatre ^
10 / 02 Denver, CO / Bluebird Theater ^

EU/UK
11 / 01 Glasgow, UK / Broadcast
11 / 02 Manchester, UK / Gullivers
11 / 03 London, UK / Oslo Hackney
11 / 05 Paris, France / Les Etoiles
11 / 06 Ghent, Belgium / Bar Mirwaar
11 / 07 Amsterdam, Netherlands / Melkweg
11 / 09 Berlin, Germany / Privatclub
11 / 10 Cologne, Germany / Blue Shell
11 / 12 Hamburg, Germany / Nochtwache
11 / 13 Copenhagen, Denmark / Ideal Bar
11 / 14 Stockholm, Sweden / Bryggarsalen
11 / 15 Gothenburg, Sweden / Oceanen
11 / 17 Oslo, Norway / Krøsset

US
12 / 01 Asheville, NC / The Orange Peel +
12 / 02 Charlotte, NC / Visualite Theatre +
12 / 03 Winston-Salem, NC / The Ramkat +
12 / 04 Charlottesville, VA / Jefferson Theater +
12 / 05 Richmond, VA / Richmond Music Hall +
12 / 07 West Jefferson, NC / Ashe Civic Center +
12 / 09 Amagansett, NY / The Stephen Talkhouse #
12 / 10 Woodstock, NY / Levon Helm Studio #
12 / 11 South Burlington, VT / Higher Ground Ballroom #
12 / 12 Cambridge, MA / The Sinclair #
12 / 14 Old Saybrook, CT / The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center
12 / 16 Brooklyn, NY / Music Hall of Williamsburg
12 / 17 Philadelphia, PA / Milkboy
12 / 18 Philadelphia, PA / Milkboy
12 / 19 Washington, DC / 930 Club

RATING 8 / 10
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