Since forming about seven years ago while undergraduates at UNC-Chapel Hill, indie Americana quartet Mipso has been quite busy: They’ve issued five albums (recorded with Mandolin Orange’s Andrew Marlin and Megafaun’s Brad Cook), ranked on a Billboard top 10, and toured incessantly, even as far as Japan. Hailed by Rolling Stone as an “Artist You Need to Know,” Mipso has become one of North Carolina’s brightest lights through open-hearted sentiments, tight harmonies, and a pop approachability, all ensconced in the state’s string-band tradition.
But on this spring’s Edges Run, Mipso explores new territory, incorporating elements of classic folk-rock and modern country into the mix. Recorded in Oregon, Edges Run is Mipso’s first release made outside North Carolina. That wandering sprawl is beautifully mirrored in tracks like “Didn’t Know Love,” which slowly builds on the echo of a crying pedal steel as Libby Rodenbough’s fiddle adds gentle dissonance. And when Joseph Terrell softly sings “I used to love you like the world would end” during “People Change,” his voice is buoyed by meditative piano, a decisive step toward new traditions. These days, Mipso gives old sounds new life and shows us what light can be found when you aren’t afraid to leave home and explore.