pub-8600945085349723 Your New Fave Band

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Update: MILKK



With the success of this amazing trio in the past nine months, I feel it's only fitting that we revisit and check back in on the social media-fueled chill pop genius that is MILKK.

Photo credit: Ryan Smallhands

Since Last Time...

The last time we saw the self-proclaimed "emo boy-band" MILKK back in May, they had a massive online following and one single, "Pacific Kiss." And this trio couldn't have been happier about what they had - loyal fans, a song that was getting buzz, and of course, a spot on this blog. (Just kidding... kinda.) And fortunately, these three guys are still going nowhere but up.

After "Pacific Kiss" hit streaming services on May 26th, MILKK received enough buzz from their already-huge fanbase to interest Good Time Records, an independent label out of lead singer Pat Kiloran's hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. The group announced signing with the label on July 24th via Twitter, ushering in "the next chapter of MILKK." Prior to this exciting news, the trio had released a second single, "Less Than 3," but announced that they would be taking it down from Apple Music and Spotify "for just a couple weeks" - a decision influenced, as it turns out, by their soon-to-be-announced record label. The song would indeed return, but not for a while.

MILKK had a fairly quiet summer, constantly interacting with their ever-growing fanbase and retweeting their fanart but not releasing much in terms of music. The only exception was a 15-second cut of a song called "Sad Girls," for a which a release date is still yet to be announced. (You can hear that song preview here and then tweet to @wearemilkk and ask them politely to release it.) They also teased the re-release of a remastered version of "Less Than 3" throughout the summer. Finally, on August 22nd, the band's account tweeted out "9.15.17" which turned out to be the release date of the band's official second single, "IDWK." And with much hype leading up to that date by both the band and the fans, the song was finally released and became an instant fan favorite. It has the same West Coast, wavy, lose-yourself vibes as "Pacific Kiss," but with a much slower tempo and sadder message. Two days later, an acoustic version posted by Kiloran made even more waves on Twitter. "Is anybody there / I don't wanna know," laments the chorus and namesake of the song. If you need a song to cry to after a breakup, this is the one.

Only ten days after the release of "IDWK," the band account tweeted once again about the track everyone was missing: "you want to hear "Less Than 3" again soon or?" The hype was real, but once again fans would not hear about it again for a while. Likewise, "Sad Girls" has been mentioned again and again within the timeline, but fans have not yet heard it. As much as MILKK loves its fans, it loves to tease them, too. In the meantime, I was personally added to a group chat on Twitter created by Kiloran, and it continues to be a great source of friendship and entertainment to this day (especially when Pat drops in and sends memes or stickers).
But finally, after a summer and fall filled with hype, November 12th was the day that MILKK finally announced the return of its true second (but actually third) single, "Less Than 3," which dropped the next Friday. And the hype was worth it - enough so that the band recently filmed and released a live studio version of the song, which can be found here. Again, MILKK changed up its sound without interfering with the vibe that made fans fall in love with "Pacific Kiss" and later with "IDWK." Pounding drums and heartfelt lyrics combined with the remastered sound curated in its long absence make "Less Than 3" a unique addition to anyone's love song playlist.

...Moving Forward

I made it clear in my first post, and I will say it again: the driving force of MILKK is the fans. I am lucky to count myself as a member of this community of loving fans who want nothing for the best for this talented trio. It can be tough to stand by a band that is not even a year old. There are a lot of roadblocks to overcome and risks to take. But I have never seen a fanbase so dedicated to a band like this one is. (Shoutout to the group chat - you'll be the first ones to get a link!)
Just like the rest of us, MILKK is looking into 2018 with optimism and excitement. In December, they tweeted the names of 3 songs on a 5-song list: The ever-mysterious "Sad Girls," "Secret's Out" (which you can hear a preview of here) and "Forever 17," with the last two spaces blank. In fact, the last three weeks have been filled with hints of new music coming sooner rather than later, like this tweet: "hey man, yeah, actually i think we're putting out another song in less than a month" (followed up hilariously by "wait this isn't texting how do i delete"). Many are theorizing that we will finally hear "Sad Girls" this month, and I could not be more ready for that. Pat has also hinted that touring may become a reality in 2018, with possibilities for supporting roles on tours in the works.
To get in on all of the action, follow MILKK on Twitter @wearemilkk and let them know YNFB sent you. Check out Spotify to hear what all the hype is about!

-Aidan


P.S. Shameless plug - follow me on twitter @favebandblog for updates on what's coming next for the blog! Thanks for reading!

Monday, January 1, 2018

A L A S K A

Hello everyone, and happy new year! I am happy to be ringing in 2018 with a brand new artist spotlight. This time around, it's an instrumental, totally-chill project entitled A L A S K A.

The Members

A L A S K A is a solo project by Cameron Tierney, an incredibly talented musician and a personal friend of mine. The name of the project, according to Tierney, was suggested by a friend as a reference to the images of natural beauty that came to mind while listening to the music - and there aren't many places that are more beautiful than the last frontier of the United States. 
Tierney started experimenting with the beginnings of A L A S K A's sound in early 2017, playing with loops and samples and discovering what he liked. "I've always wanted to start making my own music and I was really inspired by Adam Young [of Owl City]'s instrumental projects, and Port Blue in particular," he told me. And with a single perusal of his Soundcloud library, one who is familiar with Young's dreamy ambient project will hear the similarities - as well as the things that set them apart.

The Music

I'd be tempted to describe the sound of A L A S K A the same way one might describe a daydream that occurs while lying in a hammock on a warm summer's day. Like many daydreams, the project is laidback, with ambient tones and major keys. But A L A S K A also keeps listeners on their toes, offering much more than just one distinct sound. While one song is heavy with chords on keyboards, another is laden with acoustic riffs on guitar, while still others rely on bassy, ambient loops. Maybe I'm biased (the project's creator is a friend of mine, and I am a huge fan of the instrumental chill genre) but I'm convinced that A L A S K A has real potential to climb the ranks of Soundcloud, expand to other platforms, and become something very special. 
Most recently released is a winter-themed double-track entitled "Snowfall/Mistletoe," a lightly flowing journey that turns to a more upbeat jingle to carry you through the winter blues. Nature sounds like crashing ocean waves, falling rain and chirping birds are commonly sprinkled among the notes that, together, certainly inspire thoughts of the beauty of nature on tracks like "Fallen Leaves" and "Jellyfish." One of my favorite tracks is "Suspended In A Sunbeam," which features uniquely reversed-sounding synth sounds over Carl Sagan's famous "Pale Blue Dot" speech - a monologue centered around our tiny place in this vast universe. The classic acoustic strumming, along with the sounds of fireflies and crackling flames makes the track "Campfire" another highly recommended favorite. With nearly two dozen singles and a 3-song "Autumn" EP, there's more than enough to A L A S K A to keep every ambient chill fan satisfied. Cameron has also promised that a full-length album is in the works for 2018, and I personally couldn't be more excited about it. 

The Final Word

Instrumental ambient music is, in my opinion, a highly underrated and unappreciated genre. But if I were to introduce someone to this musical style, I would first point them in the direction of A L A S K A. Like similar well-renowned projects like Port Blue, Cameron's music is a fantastic representation of the simplistic beauty that all ambient chill artists strive for. The variance in instrumentation keeps active listeners engaged, but the project as a whole is laid-back enough to put on as background music for studying, reading, or daydreaming the cabin fever away. The artists who have inspired this young man's work would be proud of the music he is making. You can check out A L A S K A on Soundcloud (keep in mind that this is the only place it is available) and follow him on Twitter @alaskamusic7 for updates on new music! 

On a personal note, I want to again wish all of my readers a happy new year! I am happy to be getting back to blogging in 2018 and I plan to stick with a better and more active schedule this time around. 

Thanks for reading!

-Aidan

Saturday, November 18, 2017

One Year Later

Hello!

It has indeed been one year since the creation of this humble blog, although from the lack of posts it may not appear that way. I do greatly apologize for the very extended hiatus - life hits you fast, especially at the point where I am - a freshman in college. 

However, I have renewed the domain name for another year, meaning that Your New Fave Band will indeed stick around for at least that long. I have some cool stuff in the works and I can't wait to get the ball rolling again as far as bringing you the best music you've never heard of. 

Rock on!

-Aidan

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

MILKK

A huge fanbase and one song? Not impossible - just rare. And you've found it with indie-poppers MILKK. Hear from the band and the fans below!

The Members

MILKK is a three-piece indie pop group that hasn't been around very long - just since April of this year. Pat Kiloran is the face of the trio, a singer/songwriter/guitarist/keyboardist from Music City of Nashville. Jack Vondrachek is a producer and multi-instrument player from the Twin Cities, and rounding out the trio is John Ogelby on touring/session percussion and production. Frontman Pat explains how the band got together:

"Jack and I met when we were freshmen in high school in MN. I was starting a band with a friend at the time, and we asked Jack to join. We didn't really know him at all. We just knew that he played guitar. Then I met John while playing some gigs down here in Nashville. We hung out a couple times and went on the road together for a weekend run of shows, and I just knew he was the right guy to finish out the trio. Coincidentally, we all lived and played in MN at different times and know a lot of the same people from that scene."

The Music

Well, truth be told, there isn't much yet. In fact, there's one song - but that one song is already making waves. 
"Pacific Kiss" hit music streaming services May 26th as the trio's debut track, and it's been picking up steam every day since. It's already been noticed and signal boosted on multiple platforms thanks to high early streaming stats. And those numbers aren't coming out of nowhere, but from the multitudes of fans they already have.
MILKK hit the big time early, as they mention in the statement they gave me: "After going public on social media at the beginning of April 2017, MILKK made an unexpectedly quick and remarkably large splash in the indie-pop scene, connecting almost instantly with a wide array of die-hard fans." 
And they aren't exaggerating - take one look into the Twittersphere and you're bound to run into users who have been fans before the release of their debut. @sadartgallery from Twitter (feel free to follow!) told me a little bit about how she discovered her new favorites:

"I first discovered MILKK a few months ago when [I found them] on Instagram. I checked out their page and I really loved their aesthetic, so I decided to find them on Twitter as well. There was a clip of "Pacific Kiss" pinned to the top of their page, and as soon as I heard it I fell in love. After that I was pretty much just waiting for them to actually release the song, so I ended up joining a group chat for fans of MILKK. We call ourselves the Carton Club and we're like one big happy family. It's great." 

If these guys are doing it for the fans, then they've got a lot to work with.

As for the song itself: if their future is half as bright as their sound, then MILKK is set for life. With beachy vibes and The 1975-esque guitar hooks, this song screams summer. You'd think that this is your typical LA-born-and-raised pop group by the natural California sound, but the fact that they're quite the opposite says something special about this midwest/southern trio. It suggests versatility and uniqueness - two qualities necessary to get ahead in the competitive world of indie pop. And these guys have done it, with only one single so far. Pat's voice floats easily over the smooth sound inspired by the likes of LANY and others. Not every band can be this far ahead of the game. Impressive, indeed.

The Final Word

From their birth just a few short months ago, MILKK have hit the ground running. No band that I've witnessed has hit the spotlight this early with only one single under their belt, released AFTER their extensive fanbase had already been established. And with a song like "Pacific Kiss" leading them off, it's my guess that this trio is going places. @sadartgallery wraps it up pretty nicely: "Seeing MILKK grow has been so cool, and I'm glad I got the opportunity to find them before they got huge." 
And here's your opportunity to help them grow even more: follow them on Twitter at @wearemilkk, and listen to "Pacific Kiss" on Soundcloud and Spotify now! A live video version of "Pacific Kiss" will be available once the song hits 4,000 streams on Spotify, so let's get them there!

-Aidan

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Interview: Cider Sky

Welcome to my first ever blog interview, with the guys from the chill pop sensation Cider Sky! I reached out to the members with a couple questions, and they were awesome enough to chat with me.


The Members

Cider Sky is a cozy two-piece made up of singer-songwriter and beauty extraordinaire Simon Wilcox and co-singer and music man Shridhar Solanki. According to the group's Facebook bio, the two met by a "beautiful accident" in London, England - which is, surprisingly, not the hometown of either member. The pair, obviously destined for a partnership, had a second chance meeting in their hometown of Los Angeles, which marked the official beginning of Cider Sky and a future of beautiful pop music. 

The Music

Upon that fateful second meeting in LA, the newly formed pair produced and recorded their first heartbreakingly gorgeous single, "Northern Lights," a track about beauty and companionship which was featured on the soundtrack of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 in 2011. With their music career starting to take flight, Cider Sky released their first collection of six tracks, titled the King EP, later that year. This collection declared Cider Sky as a sustainable part of the chill pop genre, with softly sung harmonies, airy keyboards and minimalist beats to keep the focus on Wilcox's thoughtfully charming lyrics. Heading into 2012, Wilcox and Solanki went on a single spree, releasing five separate tracks including a Christmas track throughout the year. 
However, as is common with many groups of various genres, Cider Sky could not be content with just one sound. After a brief one-year hiatus, the duo returned with "Flames," a track with a sound still deeply rooted in the group's original feel, but beefed up into more of a beach-pop groove with a catchy chorus and a heavier keyboard. A "Flames" remix album was released later in 2014, featuring club and trance mixes by Zak Moya, Habischman, and in.deed. Cider Sky, in only a few short years, had mastered the art of imagining and re-imagining their sound flawlessly in a way to bring in new listeners without losing the attention of original fans.
After another pause in 2015, Cider Sky returned once again with four independent tracks that now held qualities of tropical pop - stronger leads, a new synth background and more drums than all of the King EP. Again, these tweaks to sound never completely lost the original "Northern Lights"-esque vibe - in fact, the 2016 single "Pride" begins extremely similarly, which light xylophone notes and a laid back tempo. Five years made Cider Sky more musically confident, bringing out the two members' best qualities and maintaining the ones they already knew they had. 
2017 has already been blessed by more Cider Sky - in fact, one of the three singles released so far this year has only been streaming since May 8th. "Rush," the duo's most recent single, is the heaviest track yet, beginning with electric guitar feedback before falling into a steady rock beat behind Wilcox's ever-strengthening voice, with Solanki backing her up. It's a little less Halsey and a little more Front Bottoms, but every bit Cider Sky - a quality they still don't intend to lose.
Despite the evolution of their sound, Cider Sky never lost what is arguably their best attribute - lyrics that grab your heart and soul and hold on for dear life, making you feel and imagine all of the world's most magnificent beauty. While guitars may replace keys and whispers may turn to shouts, thus is life; one cannot hope to remain innocent forever, but can be true to oneself their entire life. 

Exclusive Interview!

Aidan: Who are your musical inspirations? 
CS: We find musical inspiration in diverse things - French cinema, modern and classic poetry, afrobeat, samba, New Romanticism and the California Light and Space Movement (to name a few).

Aidan: If you could headline any venue, where would it be? 
CS: The beautiful and historic Massey Hall in Toronto (where Simon used to be an usher)(if possible she would perform that night wearing her old vest, bow tie and name tag). 

Aidan: You can turn into any animal. What animal do you choose? 
CS: Wiggy ([Instagram] @wiggythepuppy), our band mascot. We need to know what’s going on in his dog brain. 

Aidan: What does the future look like for Cider Sky? 
CS: So bright, we gotta wear shades!

The Final Word

The inspiration for the name Cider Sky comes from the moment at twilight when the sun bows out for the day, but still shares its light with the world for a few fleeting moments. Like the sight of dusk, Cider Sky inspires thoughts and memories that could not be dreamed up any other way. Dreamy lyrics about love, strength and hope can inspire listeners to feel the same way. Evolving style is the strength, not the weakness, of this two-piece. Although my personal love affair with "Northern Lights" and the King EP will never fade, the variety of tracks from 2012 to now give everyone something to love. Be sure to check out Cider Sky's Facebook page and Twitter feed for all the latest on new music, tours and more. And as always, head on over to Spotify to listen to all the soft, sweet tunes that Cider Sky has to offer.

Thanks so much again to Cider Sky for answering my silly questions. Let me know if you'd like to see more interviews like this in the comments - and I'm always open to future feature suggestions!

-Aidan