Middlemaze is about life after being young. Erin Tobey has been settled in Bloomington, Indiana for more than a decade now. Even with many friends lured away to the coasts and the small town tempo rarely escalating, Tobey has kept busy with numerous projects, musical and visual. It’ s been over ten years since her last solo album, but with Middlemaze the pot has finally boiled over. The record was written over years while walking and driving, moving slowly outward from deep within an interior world. Taking stock of this time gone by, Tobey blends the pastoral, philosophical, and funny mundane: the hubris of youth, the ambiguous middle path between Right and Wrong, seasons changing, device addiction, the self- reflection inspired by closed-circuit TVs in the mall. The album’ s energetic numbers stomp with shimmering guitars and pop-punk propulsion. This soon gives way to Tobey’ s quintessential starry folk, depicting married love and apocalyptic dread with equal tenderness. It’ s the album’ s final turns that draw the most shade, ending with the careening, stereophonic Infinity Song that literally shouts into the void. “When will it end? Will it?”
Made at Russian Recording with brother Matt Tobey and husband Jeff Grant, the family trioworks as both a rock outfit and eclectic backing band. Middlemaze covers a lot of ground. It’ s an apogee of some kind,a firmly placed flag from an artist reflecting on womanhood and wondering what comes next.
RIYL: Juliana Hatfield, Courtney Barnett, Edith Frost, Liz Phair, Mazzy Star, Bill Callahan, Meat PuppetsFor tour dates and more visit: erintobey.com/