Track of the Day: 'Roscoe'

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

“Midlake might be stuck in the ‘70s, but they make it sound like the best place on earth,” wrote Tim Sendra, reviewing the band’s 2006 album The Trials of Van Occupanther. Darn straight. And no song on the album gets me to that place faster than the lush masterpiece “Roscoe,” ranked one of the best songs of the 2000s by Rolling Stone. The driving bass line and wandering, ethereal harmonies make this great road music, but it’s also a perfect sit-at-your-desk-and-escape tune. I don’t know what the song’s 19th-century mountaineers had in mind when they were building those houses from cedar and stone, but I love that I can slip on a pair of headphones and go there any afternoon I’d like.

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