Everyone has a style. We all have fashion styles, hairstyles, shoe styles, personality styles, blah, blah, blah, tricks and treatsâ€¦well, you get the point. A person’s or groups style helps us to define and (hopefully) understand them, you know, break them down and figure out what they’re all about. Pick apart the big picture to see how the little pictures come together – their complete style. And Music styles are no different.
Milkman’s Union, a Portland based band, stopped in Montreal for their first time last week. I’d had the opportunity to have a good listen to them before heading to the show and instantly enjoyed everything that completed their sound. It’s a Radiohead meets old, old country style; the kind of country that’s on those “greatest hits of the 50’s” (which I still adore as much as I adore spaghetti).
So, let’s start with this Radiohead influence. In the first song they played, The Golden Room, Henry Jamison (vocals) used a voice peddle to create an echoing, almost haunting effect with this voice that kept looping in the background. That effect layered with a steady drum beat from Peter McLaughlin, and Alex Hernandez (bass) wheat field bass rift, gave off that solemn (yet, secret layer of happiness) sound that Radiohead has so much perfected and is known for in their music.
Anyway, this country sound that I’m referring to that Milkman’s Union plays is extremely becoming of them and for them. Like said in my preview, the majority of the time what a band sounds like via produced songs is rarely what they sound like live. While Milkman’s Union does have more of a somber sounding style, live they embody this almost joyful, despairing sound. It really comes to life in your ears.
It was after their first song that the country sound filled the venue and you saw who Milkman’s Union really was a more country sounding group. Now, okay, folk and country, country and folkâ€¦it can get confusing I know, but to me the majority of people who play (cough,cough claim to be) folk are way more pretentious and almost bad-hippie-like. Unlike the we-live-in-cabin-and-isolate-ourselves-to-make-music, Milkman’s Union’s songs are open and inviting live, whether you wear overalls or not to the show.
Photos by Kaelin Toomey.
Milkman’s Union played in Montreal on April 26 @ Le Divan Orange. For more show listings visit indiemontreal.ca.
<a href=”http://themilkmansunion.bandcamp.com/album/telos-ep” _mce_href=”http://themilkmansunion.bandcamp.com/album/telos-ep”>Telos EP by The Milkman’s Union</a>