Indie string quartet Mipso, celebrating their just-released fourth album "Edges Run," will perform two sets April 14 during the Savannah Music Festival’s all-day finale at Trustees' Garden.
As the North Carolina-based band discovered each other’s strengths and weaknesses over the years, they decided to push themselves creatively — by taking life experiences and organic sounds into the studio.
“We recorded ‘Edges Run’ at the heels of our previous record, ‘Coming Down the Mountain,’” said bassist and vocalist Wood Robinson in an interview with Do.
“This record feels markedly different for us. We started as a sort of amalgamation of influences centered on a string band,” Robinson said. “Over the following seven years, our sound has evolved to incorporate new rhythms, melodies, harmonies, topics. We’ve grown up a lot.”
The band sure did grow up together. They met in college at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Jacob Sharp (mandolin, vocals) and Joseph Terrell (guitar, vocals) met in 2008 on a college visit. The two hit it off right away and later met Will Robinson. Robinson and Terrell eventually formed a funk band called Funkasaurus Rex.
That band played a few shows around town that were promoted by their friend Libby Rodenbough, who is now the band’s fiddle player and vocalist. In 2010, Sharp, Terrell, and Robinson formed Mipso Trio. Rodenbough collaborated with them throughout college and then joined full-time in 2014 when she graduated.
The creativity and collaboration comes naturally with this group of friends. Rodenbough told PopMatters magazine, "You end up sort of leaning toward each other.”
She continued, "If you look at the great creative collaborations in history, usually each collaborator is allowed to be an individual, even while the collaboration can only exist as a joint project. I guess it's one of those salad versus melting pot things — we want people to be able to identify separate human beings in this music. If you support each other in that way, making space for differences, I think you can actually work together a lot more intimately."
“Edges Run” was created in Eugene, Ore., after the band signed a record deal with AntiFragile Music and received a great opportunity to collaborate with producer and bassist Todd Sickafoose, best known for his work with Ani DiFranco.
“North Carolina really has nurtured us in a deep sense, musically and personally,” Terrell told PopMatters Magazine. “But I think we felt like we were ready to stretch our legs, to let our recording environment shake things up a little bit.”
Mipso was just recognized by Rolling Stone on its list of 10 New Country Artists You Need to Know and by Acoustic Guitar for “hewing surprisingly close to gospel and folk while still sounding modern and secular.”
As for the direction of the band, Robinson told Do, “That's a moving target. It's whatever direction allows us longevity and fulfillment as artists without being at the expense of our relationships and sanity.”
Mipso will perform twice during the Savannah Music Festival finale, at 1:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. April 14 at Trustees' Garden.