Milo Greene Preps New Album
L.A. Buzz Makers Return to Santa Barbara, Headline Muddy Waters
GREENE ACRES: If there is a single word to sum up Milo Greene, it’s probably “infectious.” With just a batch of home recordings under their belt, the Los Angeles–based band has already stirred up a flurry of hype, as well as a hefty tour schedule. (They’ll swing by Muddy Waters Café this Fri., Feb. 17.) But unlike many of their fellow blog buzzers, Milo’s players have the chops to back it up. Most recently, the quintet wrapped a cross-country tour opening up for indie-folk sensation The Civil Wars, and, as guitarist Graham Fink puts it, the response was “overwhelming.” And if you were in the crowd during the band’s stop at the Lobero last November, you can attest that it’s no exaggeration.
During the course of Milo Greene’s fervent 40-minute set, instruments were swapped, harmonies were nailed, and a largely unfamiliar crowd eagerly ate it up — and got in a few dance moves to boot. “We’ve all been doing this for so long in so many different projects, and we’ve all had different levels of success and fans and things like that, but the kind of experiences we had on those shows with The Civil Wars were unreal,” Fink gushed. “It’s reaffirming that we’re doing something right.”
Sonically, Milo’s palette is a tried-and-true mix of quick-paced, layered percussion, folky sing-along structures, and lots (and lots) of four-part guy-girl harmonies. Lyrically, the band draws inspiration from the stuff that’s been making musicians tick for centuries: lost love, found love, growing old, and the meaning of it all. When pressed for touchstone artists, they’ll cite everyone from Fleetwood Mac to Bon Iver as inspiration. And while the setup might not signal a reinvention of the musical wheel, the end result proves much larger than the sum of its parts, thanks in part to the fact that each of the band members has clocked plenty of time in myriad musical outfits.
“[Guitarist] Robbie [Arnett]’s band and my band were much more rock oriented,” explained Fink. “Mine was a little bit like more experimental electronic rock, his was a bit more soulful, old, straight-ahead rock. I think before we realized it, we all wanted to be doing something more melodic and orchestrated, something with better harmonies, and that started to come together for everybody with the start of Milo Greene. It’s definitely a departure, but I think that’s what makes it special.”
As for a record, the band is currently hard at work on a proper full-length. “It’s being mixed right now, and it will be mastered in February and hopefully out in May,” Fink said. Recorded in a secluded studio outside of Seattle, the album will pull from the earlier Milo Greene recordings, but, according to Fink, it will also benefit from the amenities afforded by a “legit” studio. “We kind of went in with the headspace of using our demos as the foundation, and then trying to find sounds that we couldn’t have found on our own.”
For a taste of what’s to come, Milo Greene plays Muddy Waters Café (508 E. Haley St.) this Friday, February 17, at 8 p.m. Call 966-9328 or visit clubmercy.com for tickets and info.
ALSO THIS WEEK: Santa Barbara’s Winchester Rebels bring their hard-driving mix of ’90s alternative and modern electric rock to SOhO Restaurant & Music Club (1221 State St.) on Thursday, February 16, at 8 p.m. The show, in support of the band’s recently released debut, Three Sheets to the Wind, will also double as a benefit for the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara. A Broken Opera and Seven Year War will open the show. For tickets and info, call 962-7776 or visit sohosb.com. And for a full interview with Winchester Rebels, visit independent.com/winchester.