Los Angeles-based indie pop band Milo Greene released their sophomore album Control in January of this year, and the band’s melodic evolution did not disappoint. The synth-heavy layered vocals were to be expected from Milo Greene, paralleling the stylistic mannerisms that first helped build a name for the band through their self-titled debut album; however, the overall tempo and complexity of production differentiates Control from their previous work.
Since the release of Milo Greene’s first album in 2012, the band’s artistic transformation is clearly heard in Control through the modernization of their intricate production and transcendence of the acoustic guitar and simplistic drum boundaries. Control creates a image of a young band experiencing the present, as both the lyrics and the music narrate a coming of age easily relatable to any listener.
“What you were listening to freshman year of high school is probably going to change by the time you’re a senior,” said keyboardist and vocalist Marlana Sheetz. “We were definitely all listening to different things and we were ready to kind of change it up a bit.”
Songs such as “Lie to Me” and “On the Fence” are faster paced and a blatant departure from the album Milo Greene. Two of the most notable tracks on the record, “Lie to Me” and “On the Fence” both layer instrumentals intertwined with softly smooth harmonies, creating catchy choruses that refuse to leave the listeners minds after hearing them. While stark differences reveal a new and exciting side of the band, there are still classic Milo Greene aspects to Control. Lyrical themes surrounding relationships blossoming and broken paired with straightforward drumbeats trademark the original Milo Greene sound.
“It’s pretty classic Milo Greene in the sense that it sounds fun and happy and yet lyrically it’s all pretty sad, so there is some contrasting stuff that goes on there, nothing too complex though,” Sheetz explained. The contradicting music and lyrics act as a metaphor for the rollercoaster that is love.
Songs like “Lonely Eyes” and “Parents’ House” paint a picture of a passionate love affair that is crumbling from the inside and out. The lyrics are somber and reflective, making the listener ponder their own intimate relationships (“At your parents house/ I was never myself/ And you were always someone else”). This album is heartache coupled with a melody, and the brilliant production makes it difficult to stop pressing replay. The intense emotions experienced by adolescents are brought to life through Control.
“It’s pretty clear what the songs are about I want people to be able to relate to it and I think that they can. It’s pretty easy to relate to the songs if you ever been in any type of relationship,” said Sheetz. Control is haunting, intriguing, and romantically simplistic.
Milo Greene is currently on their “Lonely Eyes” tour in North America promoting the new album, and played at the El Rey Theater here in Los Angeles on February 19. I had the pleasure of attending the concert as well as the band members.
While speaking with Sheetz on the phone, my first impression of her was that of a introverted bookworm type individual, but as we continued our conversation I realized she was far from it. She is about as spunky as spunky gets and exudes rock star charisma. She cavorts around the stage the entire time and relented to the audience about how she seems to get her biggest bursts of energy just before the slowest songs.
Control’s lush sounds meet the ears of the listener impressively through headphones, but turn into an almost out of body experience in person. The drumbeats vibrate along with the layered vocals creating an almost angelic sound, as the entire audience cannot help but dance and clap.
The set list was a pleasant surprise as well. The band performed for about an hour and a half, playing almost every song from both their debut and most recent records. The song that shot the band to fame, “1957” seemed so effortless and airy that it felt like instead of being at a concert, I felt as if I was experiencing an aura of tranquil exuberance with a blur of people around me.
Musically, everything was perfectly executed and no exceptions were made when it came to the visual aspects. Great lighting that didn’t overpower the music or distract from the players made it a very pleasant experience. There is no doubt that 2015 is Milo Greene’s year.
Their new album Control is available on iTunes or Google Play and their experiences can be followed through their instagram and twitter, both @milogreene.