Mipso's new album Old Time Reverie soars with the group's sharp bluegrass composition and lilting harmonies. It also delivers complex and nuanced songwriting, strengthening Mipso's craft as storytellers.
The band has been on the road for most of the last two years since the release of their last album Dark Holler Pop, venturing further away from their origin days as college students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This process of growing up is reflected in "Everyone Knows," featuring fiddler Libby Rodenbough.
"In college and the years that have followed, I’ve become frustrated with the way that people bluster at one another in most of their conversations in very subtle ways," Rodenbough said. "It's definitely true in music when people are trying to present the best versions of themselves and it can get difficult. I count myself among those people."
The band's growing maturity is reflected consistently throughout Old Time Reverie. In "Mama", mandolin player Jacob Sharp shares the intimate story of his mother who died from ovarian cancer when Sharp was 21 years old. Sharp said processing this has shaped how he now views relationships, and sharing the song with an audience can be a rewarding experience.
"It's not necessarily a duty of a songwriter, but one of the great benefits of it is being able to connect with people all across the country and world who may have similar shaped experiences," Sharp said. "Sometimes sharing your most intimate ones allow that at a greater level."
Along with these intimate and personal moments, Mipso welcomes some friends to expand its "sonic palette." Andrew Marlin of Mandolin Orange is featured on clawhammer banjo throughout the album, while singer/songwriter Josh Oliver is heard on keyboard.
Mipso will play two shows this weekend at Cat's Cradle in Chapel Hill. Concert-goers will enjoy a seated performance on Friday, September 4, followed by another standing show on Saturday, September 5.