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Wednesday January 26th

Mipso finds their sound with 'Edges Run'

Mipso is releasing their fourth album, "Edges Run." Photo by D.L. Anderson.
Buy Photos Mipso is releasing their fourth album, "Edges Run." Photo by D.L. Anderson.

Mipso, an indie-Americana quartet from Chapel Hill, is releasing their fourth album, "Edges Run," this Friday and are embarking on a tour to support the album. Staff writer Marin Herold spoke with vocalist and guitarist Joseph Terrell.

The Daily Tar Heel: Would you tell me a little bit about your upcoming album, "Edges Run"?

Joseph Terrell: Yes. So, it’s a little bit of a different sound for us and I think it’s, you know, fully trusting ourselves as a band and trusting each other as bandmates to really try and hone in on what really makes us a band. We recorded it way out on the West Coast in Oregon and we worked with this incredible jazz bass player as a producer, who brought a bit of a different sound to his understanding of our music. So, this record feels both very "us" and very honest, but also very fresh and new.

DTH: Going off of that, how would you define "the Mipso sound"?

JT: I think our sound is based on our four personalities mixing together. And that means these four people’s songs, and these four people’s harmonies, and the thing that happens when we make music together. Hopefully, what we are going for is greater than the sum of its parts. Something happens when we play together that is different than if anyone else played together.

DTH: How did you get in your groove? How did you find that sound?

JT: We met in college at Carolina, and we were all getting into music at the same time. And I think that we were lucky to be doing it at North Carolina and in Chapel Hill because it’s a place that really encourages music and also a place with a real musical identity of its own. One of the ways we learned to play music together was learning stuff from North Carolina. The more we learned old bluegrass and old-time songs together, we got a chance to start experimenting with that type of music and hopefully putting a twist on it to make it more of our own.

DTH: What themes do you focus on in your album "Edges Run”?

JT: This record feels like… we are in a sort of different phase of life than we were in our college days now, and some of us have moved across the country, and all of us have had family members pass away in the past year. Also, we made this record right after the 2016 elections and we were all feeling a little distraught about the state of the country. So it’s a little bit of a darker album. There are some themes of growing older and going through transitions and change and dealing with death. There are some light moments, but it’s a little bit more heavy I think.

DTH: Someone once said that songwriting was "the mining of the soul." What was the writing process like, especially with some of these darker themes?

JT: It could also be said that it’s sort of like therapy. It’s a little bit of looking into yourself to try to really confront how you feel, and hopefully tell an honest story about it. But I would say, too, that on this album we did more co-writing than what we’ve done before, so there’s a lot of songs I’m excited about that are really kind of, hopefully, combine our individual voices. And not just singing voices, but songwriting voices, in an interesting way. 

DTH: You’re going on tour to promote the album. What is going through your mind when you think about touring again?

JT: You know, we’ve spent the last five years basically living together in a van. So, partly, it’s familiar. And I think we’re at a point where we’ve gotten to know each other enough to know how to tour smartly. Like we know when we need a day off, we know when we need to eat healthy lunch or else we are all too tired to have a good sound check. Just little practical things that make tour just a little bit smoother to where you can actually enjoy yourself. But also, we’ve been touring long enough to know the country and get to know the cities we like. So when we roll into a town, usually we know which our favorite coffee shop is and we know where we want to go for dinner. So it feels just a little more familiar just because we’ve gotten to know the country.

DTH: Will you be returning to Chapel Hill on your tour?

JT: We are planning on coming back in the fall. Yeah, we are going to make you miss us first. 

DTH: What makes this album special compared to other albums in the past? What do you want the audience to resonate with?

JT: I think it takes a while for a band to learn how to sound like itself. I think that we’re closer than ever before to really sounding like ourselves, and that’s exciting.   

DTH: Is there anything else you would like to add?

JT: I do want to say that we wouldn’t be a band without Chapel Hill. And there is no place like home. So, thanks to all the people who love us there.


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