Following 14 years, close to 300 shows, three European tours, and a trio of albums, The Midwest Beat is coming to an end. The longstanding Milwaukee-Madison project will officially call it quits today with the release of their fourth record, Incantations. Formed in 2005, the band put out a wealth of records, singles, and tapes on Milwaukee’s own Dusty Medical Records and on labels in Europe, Japan, and Sweden.
Despite their impressive recorded output, The Midwest Beat has been fairly quiet since releasing Free Of Being in late 2014 and traversing Europe one last time the following year. The band says Incantations was the best material from a batch of songs they wrote in the four-plus years since the previous record. The 13-song album—recorded by Kyle “Urban” Motor and mastered by Justin Perkins at Mystery Room Mastering—is also the first release in the band’s history where all four members contributed a song.
The band is ending on good terms. The decision to hang it up came last year, when Matt Joyce moved to Colorado. They played a sendoff show in 2018, which also doubled as a last show. Incantations came out digitally today and on cassette via Madison-based No Coast Recordings. Though Midwest Beat is formally finished, its members are staying busy in other endeavors. Christopher Capelle drums in Fox Face. Kyle Denton owns Tippecanoe Herbs with his wife Serena Marinelli (whom he met in Italy during a Midwest Beat tour). Tim Schweiger is planning to release a solo album this year.
While it’s sad to see The Midwest Beat go, Incantations is one hell of a parting gift. You can listen to the final album’s single, “I’m Shifting,” below.