Everyone has a style. We all have fashion styles, hairstyles, shoe styles, personality styles, blah, blah, blah, tricks and treats…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 folk…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.

Cool beans. Check out Milkman’s Union, grab your overalls (summer is coming!) and see more photos from the show on our facebook page.

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>

Milkman’s Union, a Portland based band, will be playing their first show in Montreal tomorrow night at Le Divan Orange. The  musical collective brings a settle mix of folk and country to your ears in an almost romantic way.   Their music pleasantly matches rainy days, full of fog and hope, with a linger air of despair – and you’ll only ever admit it to yourself.

From what I know Milkman’s Union have become an intellectual hit, grabbing fans from universities such as: Dartmouth, Wesleyan, Trinity, and Middlebury. On an intellectual front their song, Rehearse A Scene, develops a poster image in my head of some mid-twenties male walking down a cobble stone street, collar flipped, smoke in mouth and mysterious grin. Imaginations rule (oh yes, I know you too imagine movie-like scene whens you listen to certain songs!).

While their music may remind you of the true mellow-yellow meaning (or some cute British boy deeply trying to find himself… whoa, I’m a nut), from experience this type of sound live always turns out to be wonderfully better (and more lively) than how their produced sound streams into your ears from your earphones. Hmph! Guess you’re just gonna have to come and see. In the meantime here’s what Milkman’s Union has to say…

1. Milkman’s Union can be best described as…
An enigmatic indie-folk trio from Portland, Maine.

2.Best show vs. worst show? Oh, shit…tell us the details.
There have been too many good ones; it’s impossible to pick. Some highlights would be opening for Deerhunter in fall ’09, playing with Lady Lamb the Beekeeper at Wellesley College this past fall and rocking a packed Bruar Falls in Brooklyn on a Tuesday night in March.

The worst? That’s easy. We played at a bowling alley. And they docked our pay because we were late.

3. Who on the music scene right now (national and international) do you feel has impacted Milkman’s Union in a positive way and how?
Deerhoof, all day, every day. Dirty Projectors. Grizzly Bear. Laura Marling. DM Stith. To name a few… They’ve all shone a light on the contours of musical creation.

4.After Montreal, where are you headed?
Burlington, Vermont
Portland, Maine
Boston, Mass.
Augusta, Maine

Then we rest. Well, for a few days.

5.Three goats and one farmer come to your show, what song would you play for them and why?
Our former lead guitar player wrote a song about yogurt farming featuring impeccable four-part vocal harmonies. We played it live a couple times to rave reviews. We’d probably have to bring that back.

6.Drink of Choice (and you can’t say lemonade)?
Tang. Special grape is a pretty good flavor. Diet orange ain’t bad either.

7.At what point did Milkman’s Union decide to tour and why?
January 2010 was our first adventure on the road. We managed to wrangle together a schedule of 13 shows in 14 nights in 7 different states. It was exciting and exhausting. We’ve been playing away from home as much as possible ever since.

8.Let’s say David Bowie and Elton John enter a room, who do you avoid?
If it’s Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie, then Bowie. In all other cases, definitely Sir Elton.

Le Divan Orange
4234 St. Laurent
Doors open at 8:30pm
Advanced tickets $6 or 4-for-$19 @ indiemontreal.ca. $8@ the door.
Tickets are also available at Cheap Thrills and Atom Heart record stores.

Photo from allthingsgomusic.com
Dartmouth, Wesleyan, Trinity, Middlebury