Friday 11 January 2013

Milo Greene - Milo Greene

What’s better than one lead singer?  Five.

That’s the initial selling point of Milo Greene, a five-piece indie-folk band from LA.  Their self-titled debut album is released on January 21st and features lush five-part harmonies with heart-wrenchingly beautiful effect.  And not one of them is actually called Milo Greene (weirdly enough, it’s the name of their made-up manager…).  Neither are they relations to Cee-Lo...

But before you can shout Marcus Mumford, Milo Greene have a distinctly American sound.  The guitars, both electric and acoustic, have a country-blues twang, whilst the melodic lines are dripping with melancholy.  Take lead single 1975 for example – the guitars and drums chug away like a steam train, whilst the vocals sing “it would be much better if I knew nothing about you” before plunging into an “I’ll go I’ll go” sing-along.  On album opener What’s The Matter, the vocals lament “ohh your love is never good enough, ohh your love is lost on me”, accompanied by a blend of dreamy harmonies and guitars.  The end result shimmers like a sun-dappled California sky, filmed through sepia toned cinematography.

Different members of the band take the lead on each track, ensuring some variety in the vocals amongst the constant harmonies.  Perfectly Aligned is led by Marlana Sheetz (the only female in the group), whose effortless vocals are stunningly affecting.  The band members are also multi-instrumentalists, though as the instrumentation is consistent across the album, you probably wouldn’t notice unless seeing them live.  It means there’s a slight lack of diversity between the songs, but who really cares?  As each track bleeds into the next, complete with short interludes, the band transport you into a dreamy realm of longing and nostalgia.  With few close contemporaries (though the likes of Bon Iver and City and Colour spring to mind), the band are more akin to 70s folk and soft rock acts like Fleetwood Mac.

The melancholy reaches a peak with the album’s final track, Autumn Tree.  The lilting acoustic guitar strums beneath the band’s trademark harmonies and subtle percussive trembles, reaching a peak at the second chorus’s “The cold winter’s aged the soft of your face and I can’t move on” and the song gradually fades out.  It’s a song that lingers on long after the music ends.


Gizzle’s Choice:
* What’s the Matter
* 1975
* Autumn Tree

Listen: ‘Milo Greene’ is released on 21st January.

Watch: The band are performing across the UK in January, before returning to The States in March - details here.