Article Contributed by Big Hassle Media | Published on Saturday, August 5, 2023

Today, North Carolina based indie-Americana folk quartet Mipso share the contemplative and gentle track "Broken Heart / Open Heart" out everywhere now. The band's propulsive sixth studio album Book of Fools, is due out August 25. The album is now available to pre-order digitally here and on vinyl here. Plus, the band will embark on an extensive tour across North America beginning in Portsmouth, NH on August 17 with tickets on sale now via mipsomusic.com/tour. "Broken Heart / Open Heart" is an earnest processing of grief and display of love and hope amidst loss.

"Broken Heart / Open Heart" out today, was built around the idea that a broken heart can become an open heart. On the track, the band builds to a simmering pace, but it never boils over–the intimate vocal is gripping, alongside the muted piano and an overdriven guitar that add grit to the bittersweetness. Mandolinist and vocalist Jacob Sharp and guitarist Joseph Terrell wrote the track together that became a vessel for his processing of the grief that comes in the wake of losing someone you love.

Referencing the gut-wrenching opening lyrics, "How do you tell someone you’re lonely, when they’re sitting by your side?" Sharp shares, "I’ve had a couple friends recently who lost a family member for the first time. My mom was sick for a long time - I remember hard times, and I was broken for a while after she passed." Despite the immense pain and heartache Sharp endured, he's able to embrace the brokenness to rebuild himself. Sharp continues, "Now I look back grateful to have been broken enough to have had to decide how to put myself back together. There’s a universal binding in that feeling of realizing you’re broken enough to be wide open - and I think with the right support and love that openness can be a gift. "

Book of Fools, the forthcoming sixth studio album by Mipso out August 25, sees the band at their most assured, guided mostly by their own intuition and less impacted by time constraints, expectations or outside forces. Over ten cohesive tracks, driving rhythms, earnest, thoughtful lyricism guide the band back to their roots and who they are at their core. As Terrell puts it, "'Book of Fools' feels more relaxed, more confident, more us – like we’re wearing our favorite clothes and telling our favorite story and it feels exciting again.” There's a fresh, solid confidence and profound understanding of one another that radiates through the music. It's this palpable connection that can only come from this group playing together around the world several hundreds of times and it's here they rediscover their joy and unmatched connection as musicians and as best friends.

The previously shared tracks "The Numbers," and "Carolina Rolling By" have captivated fans who are eagerly anticipating the forthcoming project. "Carolina Rolling By" earned the band the cover of Spotify's Roots Rising and number one spot on the playlist, plus placements on Summer Acoustic, Chill Folk, Fresh Folk, Apple's New in Americana, Southern Craft and Amazon's Fresh Folk & Americana. "The Numbers" also appeared on Fresh Folk and New in Americana.

"The Numbers" is a rhythmic, wry, finger-wagging observation of the market-obsessed culture that permeates American society. Inspired by NPR's Kai Ryssdal and his signature phrase, "Let’s do the numbers!," the band wonders how tracking the daily economic tea leaves became a veritable religious observance for the ruling class. Fiddler and vocalist Libby Rodenbough recalls hearing an Iowan voter on TV discussing presidential candidates and saying, “I like the incumbent because the stock market’s doing well.” Rodenough says, "I looked around at this cruel place where we live and I felt forlorn that the NASDAQ offers anybody any kind of comfort. How do I know things are bad? Because I feel it, and I see it.” The notion that the success of the stock market had very little to do with the actual lived experiences of everyday people laid the foundation for the groovy, slick "The Numbers."

The first taste of the forthcoming project, "Carolina Rolling By" is a relaxed, country-tinged groove that tells the story of a down-and-out pill-popping truck driver trying to get back on his feet. Written in part as a love letter to driving around their home state, Mipso's signature layered, poignant harmonies paint a vibrant portrait of the view out of the driver's window–the deep, clear blue sky with the sun beating down and the crisp air floating by. Terrell says the song came about after a boating accident that led to him needing to take painkillers during recovery. Similar to previous Mipso releases, the track finds beauty in pain and allowed Terrell the space to craft the ode to driving through North Carolina that he's always wanted to make. It was during his recovery that the song materialized. Terrell says with a fresh understanding of the power of pills, "I couldn’t walk for 12 days but I had my grandma’s guitar and some hydrocodone and worked on this song I think because I fully understood for the first time how anyone could get addicted to those."

No Depression called it, "a peaceful summer groove on the surface with a story in the lyrics that cuts much deeper." Americana UK added the track is "a wistful rumination." "Carolina Rolling By" has been widely supported by several streaming platforms, including placements on Amazon's Fresh Folk & Americana, Spotify's Fresh Folk and Apple's New in Americana playlists.

Formed in 2012, Mipso began as a pastime between classes in Chapel Hill, NC. Made up of Joseph Terrell (guitar/vocals), Jacob Sharp (mandolin/vocals), Wood Robinson (bass/vocals) and Libby Rodenbough (fiddle/vocals), the group blends their music-filled upbringings and captivating harmonies to create a sound all their own with tinges of the timeless musical traditions of their home state and hints of jazz, strings, and old Americana. Mipso's acclaimed debut album Dark Holler Pop, produced by Andrew Marlin (Watchhouse), arrived in 2013 and quickly turned the recent grads into a full-fledged touring band and solidified the group as one to watch. With 2015's groovier, poppier Old Time Reverie, Mipso earned a spot at the the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, a number one spot on Billboard's Bluegrass chart, and honed their sound as they deepened their near-telepathic musical and on stage connection.

The band's Brad Cook-produced (Bon Iver, Waxahatchee) 2017 effort Coming Down the Mountain, expanded their sound with drums, bass and a pedal steel. This refined, elevated sound resulted in a wildly popular title track and landed them on Rolling Stone's 10 New Country Artists You Need To Know list. Just when the band wasn't sure if five years of near-constant touring was something they'd wish to continue, 2018's Edges Run took off and eliminated any doubt. It spawned an instant fan favorite in "People Change" which has garnered over 104M+ streams on Spotify alone. PopMatters encouraged listeners to, "Let its tried-and-true virtues—from intricate harmonies to magnetic musicianship to splendid storytelling—soak in before feeling an emotional rush that you’ll want to experience again and again." The band's self-titled, fifth album arrived in 2020 where the band explores the trauma of a near-fatal car accident and find refuge and healing in each other with a moodier, more experimental soundscape. Paste Magazine praised the project's warmth and their ability to find beauty, joy and harmony.

Now, in 2023, with Book of Fools on the horizon, Mipso looks to strengthen their sound and rekindle their bond yet again, led purely by their love of making music together. The band will bring the new music and longtime fan favorites on the road across North America this summer and fall beginning in Portsmouth, NH on August 17. After dates in Woodstock, NY, Richmond, VA, and Louisville, KY, the band will move through Nashville, TN followed by four dates in their home state of North Carolina. They will then move through the South throughout the end of October before making their way up through the Midwest, including Chicago, IL. By Early November, the band will make their way through Canada including Toronto, ON, Ottawa, ON and Montreal, QC. Next, Mipso will make their way back through the East Coast including Burlington, VT, Boston, MA and Brooklyn, NY before wrapping up in Philadelphia, PA on November 19.

"Broken Heart / Open Heart," out everywhere now, is a heartfelt processing of grief that explores the growth that can come from pain, and the brokenness that can lead to openness. Mipso's driving, layered sixth studio album, Book of Fools, is due out August 25. The album is available to pre-order here and on vinyl here. See Mipso live this summer and fall across North America with tickets on sale now here. Connect with Mipso on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and stay tuned for much more to come.

Listen "The Numbers"

Listen "Carolina Rolling By"

North American Tour 2023

Aug. 17 - Portsmouth, NH - Prescott Park Arts Festival

Aug. 18 - Bethlehem, NH - The Colonial Theatre

Aug. 19 - Woodstock, NY - Levon Helm Studio

Aug. 20 - Manchester Center, VT - Green Mountain Bluegrass & Roots

Aug. 22 - Amagansett, NY - Stephen Talkhouse

Aug. 27 - Richmond, VA - Iron Blossom Music Festival

Sept. 14 - Newport, KY - Southgate House Revival

Sept. 15 - Louisville, KY - Zanzabar

Sept. 16 - Ferdinand, IN - Ferdinand Folk Festival

Sept. 21 - Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle

Sept. 22 - Asheville, NC - Orange Peel

Sept. 23 - Charlotte, NC - Neighborhood Theatre

Sept. 24 - Raleigh, NC - Lincoln Theatre

Oct. 21 - Chattanooga, TN - Barrel House Ballroom

Oct. 22 - Birmingham, AL - Saturn

Oct. 25 - Atlanta, GA - Terminal West

Oct. 26 - Nashville, TN - Basement East

Oct. 27 - St. Louis, MO - Old Rock House

Oct. 28 - Kansas City, MO - The Bottleneck

Oct. 29 - Iowa City, IA - First Ave Club

Nov. 1 - Minneapolis, MN - Fine Line Music Cafe

Nov. 2 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall

Nov. 3 - Madison, WI - High Noon

Nov. 4 - Indianapolis, IN - Hifi

Nov. 5 - Detroit, MI - The Ark (Ann Arbor)

Nov. 8 - Toronto , ON - Velvet Underground

Nov. 9 - Ottawa, ON - Red Bird Live

Nov. 10 - Montreal, QC - Bar Le Ritz

Nov. 11 - Burlington, VT - Higher Ground

Nov. 12 - Portland, ME - Portland House of Music & Events

Nov. 15 - Boston, MA - Sinclair

Nov. 16 - Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Made

Nov. 17 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club

Nov. 18 - Charlottesville, VA - Jefferson Theater

Nov. 19 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brendas