Sunday, August 19, 2012

Review for Milo Greene’s Self-Titled Debut Album


Milo Greene, contrary to what it may sound like, is in fact not a real person but a 5 piece indie/folk band hailing from Los Angeles, CA. The band, made up of Robbie Arnett, Andrew Heringer, Marlana Sheetz, Graham Fink, and Curtis Marrero, got their moniker from a fake booking agent they created in college to help their then individual bands book gigs and sound more professional. So when they got together to form this band, they decided to pay homage to the “booking agent” that helped them get their start.

I first discovered Milo Greene last fall when I heard their song “Autumn Tree” on a music blog and fell head over heels for it. I must have pushed the repeat button at least a hundred times that night… and thus, my love/obsession with their music began. I’ve followed them ever since then, listening incessantly to their bandcamp and watching live performances on YouTube. For a band that did not have an album out at the time they created quite a buzz and quickly developed a cult following.

I think I can speak for all Milo fans when I say we were all beyond excited when July 17th rolled around and they finally released their self-titled debut album (Chop Shop/Atlantic). Let me tell you, it was worth the wait! I don’t think I’ve been this excited about an album release in a long time. What Milo Greene has created is a cohesive album that is stunning from start to finish. It hasn’t left my cd player since I got it in the mail.

The album instantly captivates your attention with ethereal sounding bells and the bands signature harmonies as it leads into “What’s The Matter”. I love the haunting sound of this track which is carried by the smooth and rich vocals of Robbie Arnett, who has a voice you could seriously get lost in. Next up is “Orpheus” which is one of the four instrumental interludes on the album. The interludes, which also include, “Wooden Antlers”, “Moddison” and “Polaroid”, are a nice surprise that add to the dreamy vibe of the album. My favorites being “Wooden Antlers” – which features pounding percussion and a great guitar riff, and the atmospheric but all too short, “Moddison”.

“Perfectly Aligned” is a soft and romantic track that builds to dramatic cymbal swells and gang vocals. It also features the pretty and pristine voice of Marlana Sheetz. It should be noted that one of the things that makes Milo so unique and interesting is that they have no lead singer. All of them except for drummer, Curtis Marrero, take turns singing lead. They are also multi-instrumentalists who are known for switching instruments from song to song during their live shows. So it’s really cool to get to hear each vocalist individually as they all have pretty distinctive voices.

The mellow “Silent Way” has a melody that sticks with you and lyrics that feel nostalgic, “When when when we’re older can I still come over”. Fan favorites “Don’t You Give Up On Me” and “1957” are highlights on the album; with the latter having you randomly break out in song, singing along to the infectious bridge, “I’ll go, I’ll go, I’ll go I” all. day. long. (yeah, might be speaking from experience here) . “Cutty Love” which features Graham Fink on lead, quickly became one of my favorites with the sweet lyrics always sticking in my head, “Even if your heart stops I will be there to hold you up. And even as the world turns I will be there to watch the fire burn, burn us both alive”. Other favorites include “Take a Step” – can’t stop listening to this almost sultry sounding song, and the sweet and comforting sounds of “Son My Son”.

The album comes to a beautiful close with “Autumn Tree”. This song is seriously just as breath taking to me now as it was when I first heard it last fall. It’s still the track that I will stop whatever I’m doing just to savor every single note. The song, featuring Andrew Heringer on lead, starts soft and sparse, with haunting lyrics, “Under the autumn tree, the chair where you would swing. A yard so full of leaves comfort me”. It ends with Robbie’s soulful vocals which is the highlight of this song to me. Everything in my world seems to get peaceful and quiet when this song plays. And I can’t think of a better way to end the lovely journey this album takes you on.

Since the album has released, Milo Greene has been on quite a whirlwind, playing Lollapalooza, landing at #1 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Chart, and not to mention rocking it out on David Letterman, where they played hit, “1957”. They’re also about to add film making to the list as they will soon be releasing a short film entitled, “Moddison” (click to see the trailer). The album acts as a soundtrack to the film which they have been releasing clips of as music videos for certain songs. You can click here to see the band talk more about it. They are currently on tour with Family of The Year and have been playing to sold out crowds. If you get the chance to see them live, take it, from what I hear they put on a show that’s not to be missed.

Rare is the gem of an album where you don’t want to skip a single track but so is the case with Milo Greene. With melodic, dreamy tunes and beautiful harmonies it sweeps you away to a different place. Even the album cover, which is actually a painting hanging in Andrew’s house, adds to the artful vibe. It’s an album that stays with you long after you hear it. Be sure to buy it a.s.a.p and let it become the soundtrack to your summer… or maybe even your life.

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