Mid America
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Mid America

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"Review - Mid America EP"

Mid America’s self-titled debut EP is a thoughtfully crafted exploration of love, loss and the search for identity in an ever-shifting world. Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Austin Helm’s lyrics, at times soaringly hopeful and achingly melancholy, evoke the fleeting nature of life’s best moments and the sting of its too-frequent disappointments. Nothing, it seems, lasts forever.

The mournfully beautiful “Hey Ms.” reaches out to an emotionally closed-off woman, describing a growing feeling of alienation as she pushes him away. “Hey Ms., where do you go to when no one’s around/ Cuz I’m out here on my own and I need to be found.” The wistful, piano-driven “All My Friends” conveys a man’s weariness of a dissolving relationship, and the realization that he has outgrown his surroundings. “All my friends, they say I should leave, leave this town/ And all my friends, they say I’m only growing older now.”

Helm’s lyrics are deceptively simple – he packs a powerful punch without resorting to strained metaphors or clichés. His delivery is unapologetically honest, whether searching for a new beginning on “I Could Use the Change” or admitting weakness and reaching out for help when he’s hit rock bottom on “Pick Me Up.” The songs are musically rich and expansive -- reminiscent of troubadours Pete Yorn and Cary Brothers.

While the EP is at times dark and searching, it never veers into hopelessness. While he might not have all of the answers, the listener senses Helm hasn’t given up looking.

The driving “City Lights” finds him picking up the pieces after a lover’s departure. Ready to regroup and heal, he sings “I’m going home/ To somewhere I know.” Like many a wanderer before him, Helm has realized that sometimes you have to leave home in order to discover just how much you miss being away from it. He leaves an open invitation for a loved one to join him someday should she make the same discovery. It’s a journey well worth taking with Mid America.

Christina Hansen’s reviews have appeared in Paste magazine and on pastemagazine.com.
- Christina Hansen of Paste Magazine

"Mid America"

For singer/songwriter Austin Helm of Mid America, music is more than just arranging notes and melodies. It is connected to something deeper inside him. It is a way of life.

“Playing music makes me tick,” Austin said. “I love interacting with people, which makes me really enjoy playing live shows.”

Hailing from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Mid America exerts a laid back, melodic indie rock style that is reflective of influences such as Coldplay, Keane, Augastana and David Gray. Austin Helm began his journey as a musician after stumbling across his father’s old electric guitar in his attic at the age of 15. He decided to continue the legacy of his father as a musician and began taking lessons and playing in bands with friends and at his church. During high school, he played with indie rock ensemble Euromart, a band that generated a buzz around Tulsa and landed a song played in the background of a Kia commercial.

As a freshman in college, Austin decided to try his hand at songwriting in the confines of his dorm room.

“I would write anywhere from three to six songs a week for weeks in a row,” Austin said, humbly admitting that most of the first songs he wrote were less than perfect. Nonetheless, it was the start of something new for him. With the encouragement of and collaboration of friends and family, he decided to compile an EP and to test the waters with recording his own music. What resulted was the creation of Mid America and a handful of songs that reflect Austin’s journey so far, and the opening of a new chapter for him as a musician—one where he intends to establish himself as a songwriter and to genuinely connect with people through his music.

“I would hope that people would be able to identify with [my] songs,” Austin said. “Music is powerful. It’s fun, inspiring, thought-provoking, nostalgic and many other things. I love being a part of something that is so widespread and universal that can communicate meaning to so many people.” - University Oracle


Mid America EP



John Austin was born and raised in Tulsa, OK but did not begin playing seriously until he picked up his dad's guitar in high school. It wasn't until the 11th grade that he co-founded Euromart as the lead guitar player with Nashville's current singer/songwriter Ben Rector. Euromart recorded an EP and played club shows in Tulsa, but then separated when the members left for college.

After high school, Austin attended Oral Roberts University where he studied communications. During his freshman year he tried his hand at songwriting which eventually led to the recording of a self-titled EP. With the release of his first solo project, Austin began playing frequently around the surrounding college towns.

In March 2009, Austin founded Mid America which soon gave birth to its own unique, catchy sound. The Mid America EP has caught the attention of writers from publications such as Relevant Magazine and The Boston Globe and has been featured on sites such as The Music Hideaway. Since then, Mid America has been playing shows in cities ranging from Tulsa to Denver to Los Angeles.

Mid America has also recently begun pre-production on their next full-length album which is scheduled to be released in the Fall of 2012.