Summary

The 2012 self-titled debut from California folk-pop ensemble Milo Greene is a languid, evocative exercise in harmony-infused pop. Although the bandmembers technically share vocal duties, much of the music here is centered around singer/multi-instrumentalist Marlana Sheetz, whose hushed, soulful voice brings to mind something along the lines of Sarah McLachlan fronting Fleetwood Mac. In that sense, with Milo Greene's rambling, echoey mix of chiming guitar lines, roiling percussion, abundant piano, and group harmonies, they fit well next to such similarly inclined contemporaries as Fleet Foxes, Local Natives, and Grouplove. Which isn't to say they are copycats. On the contrary, there is an organic, honest feel to many of Milo Greene's songs, which benefit from the largely natural and unaffected production. Tracks like the yearning minor-key leadoff cut "What's the Matter," the anthemic "Don't You Give Up on Me," and the rambling "1957" are quite cinematic, and tend to stick in your soul as much as your ears. Elsewhere, the band reveals an unexpectedly experimental side, and such cuts as the yearning ballad "Perfectly Aligned," the driving acoustic "Take a Step," and the expansive "Cutty Love" are both bittersweet and uplifting. In keeping with the band’s hippie-centric Northern California roots, much of the music here has a poetic and heartfelt vibe that finds the band tapping into such poignant notions as trying to hold onto the innocent romances of youth as you grow up, as on the heartbreaking "Silent Way." Over a bed of delicate strings and banjo, Sheetz and the band sing, "When, when, when we're older can I still come over/Hold our naked sheets our colored breaths we'll see/Your hair knots on top of me/Oh how the heart it beats." With Milo Greene, our hearts definitely do. ~ Matt Collar