Breathe Owl Breathe: Glimpse Into Middaugh's Poetic Inner World

. August 18, 2015.

Michigan’s own Micah Middaugh feels most inspired in the winter. He said he is “gathering” during the summer, spring and fall months. As guitarist and lyricist, his inspiration comes through most potently while he trudges through the snow, on long cross-country skiing treks on a dead end dirty road in Northern Michigan. 

Breathe Owl Breathe plays an eathy-folk style of music, with touches of ethereal yet grounding glimpses into life's deep inner truths. Middaugh and Violinist Trevor Hobbs played a special event at Short’s Brewery last night in Bellaire MI, and have been steadily touring around the country as a three-piece in support of their 2013 album Passage of Pegasus. In case you missed it, their shows exemplify the band’s love for capturing and sharing “perfectly imperfect” spur-of-the-moment jam sessions.

“We’ve been playing a mixed bag of songs at our shows, some new and old,” Middaugh said. “Sometimes we maybe do a 30-second made up song if we feel like it.” 

As a traveling musician without a setlist of any kind, the true poetic nature of his personality flourishes in the many changing terrains and interesting situations touring the country puts you through. 

"Trevor knows all about the rocks, and so he can give us a glimpse into the history of the land in terms of the minerals and tectonic plates," Middaugh said.

In the same vein, Passage of Pegasus’ sound is the same folk that listeners expect from the band, but with more free flowing poetry and stripped down musical style — as if it exposes the foundation of an emotional landscape we all tap into during deep introspection.

Of course, this isn’t their first tour with the album — Breathe Owl Breathe had their entire tour van stolen during a previous tour, fully equipped with all of their equipment.

“It’s good to be on the other side of that now,” Middaugh said, after he explained the sinking feeling following the realization that Andréa Moreno-Beals, the band’s Cellist, hadn’t taken the van out for coffee that fateful morning. “We’ve pretty much gotten all of the stuff replaced at this point, thanks to our friends and fans.”

Upon the interview, he said he was waiting for a fairy to take him to Sitka, Alaska for a festival, while watching some “large seagulls and medium sized seagulls” dip and dive through the air.

His poetry is inspired by playful musings and things he absorbs from his surroundings.
“Sometimes it’s overhearing a conversation between strangers or simply something someone says to you in passing,” Middaugh said. “I react to the moment and then put it away for later.”

‘Later’ comes when he’s on stage, sharing with people the moments that the band would otherwise create on their own, with as much depth of musical immersion as the band's true spirit. They are pure Michigan Made Musicians, and they are worth your time.

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