Milo Greene Gets Intimate On The Heels Of New Album “Adult Contemporary” REVIEW+PHOTOS: Milo Greene @ The Holding Company 6/6/18
LOS ANGELES, CA — There’s something incredibly infectious about Los Angeles-based quartet Milo Greene.
A band known for their mesmerizing harmonies and captivating ensemble performances, Marlana Sheetz, Graham Fink and Robbie Arnett, who all share vocal and instrumentation duties and are often seen interchanging instruments mid-set, are on to release their third album Adult Contemporary this fall. And to kick things off? They decided to throw on a special show, dubbed “Get Intimate with Milo Greene” at The Holding Co. event space in Los Angeles last Wednesday night.
Now, this has been about my hundredth time I’ve seen this band live (I’ve lost count). Their debut self-titled album released in 2012 is known for being incredibly rhythmic and cinematic, featuring their signature warm acoustics and mesmerizing harmonies; their follow-up Control released in 2015 is sonically different, with more electronics and vibrating synthesizers to add. In 2017, the band signed with Nettwerk Music Group and released their Never Ender EP, spearheading a sonically different direction ahead of this year’s Adult Contemporary.
It’s been a bit over a year since the band had last performed live. The venue, adorned with market string lights over an outdoor patio and event space, was new for the band.
“We’ve played in all types of venues and wanted to try something new with this,” Sheetz said to the intimate, sold-out crowd full of longtime friends, fans and potential new listeners.
With several bars stationed up, a “dad rock”-inspired adult contemporary playlist (very fitting) and a photo “video” booth featuring quirky karaoke-style backdrops of horses and sunsets played to their newly-released single “Move,” the night was both a celebration and kickoff to Milo Greene dusting off the old guitar cables and presenting material both old and new.
The band breezed through a 45-or-so minute set, going through the Milo Greene catalogue. They opened up with the sonically haunting “I Know About You” off last year’s Never Ender EP — a dark and moody track featuring raspy and whispering harmonies with arena-rock guitar licks and heavy drumbeats as they sang: “You watched me burn in the fire / You should’ve known all along.” They followed with the upfront and honest “Afraid of Everything” before diving into material off their debut album.
“What’s The Matter,” the acoustically-rich album opener off their debut Milo Greene came next. The textured melodies and harmonies shined as the crowd warmed up to more familiar material; the melodic breakdown, with thundering drumbeats, whirling guitars and warm harmonies, finished strong as Fink took to his egg-shaker and the crowd was caught in Greene euphoria. Fink then took the mic next as he led “Cutty Love;” though most of the sing-alongs happened when Sheetz introduced “1957” — their most popular single and the song they joked as Milo Greene’s “greatest hit.”
The warm and lush track, with rich acoustics, catchy guitar fills and licks with their harmonizing vocals that truly “takes me away” was met with crowd cheers. And for good reason — the band’s live performance energy is truly best felt through this track as the layers of sound they are able to create are impressive.
The trio, with core drummer Curtis Marrero and supporting bassist Charley Damski, then began to debut their new material: “Be Good To Me,” a song Arnett takes the lead on and channels his inner Rod Stewart (with an uncanny lip-sync video to match); the sultry and smooth groove-inducing “Move,” which Sheetz takes lead on; and an unknown song we can only assume they are set to release soon.
As they closed off their set with the dance-friendly “Lonely Eyes” off their sophomore album Control — a track that is spacey and cinematic, channeling cool 1980’s Vice City vibes, Sheetz picking up a tambourine and Fink owning one hell of a guitar solo — the band expressed their thanks to the venue and listeners who came to support their musical journey throughout the years.
As the night ended and the playlist of songs featuring artists like Hall & Oates, Tears For Fears to Billy Ocean continued on throughout the night, we couldn’t help but feel left wanting more. The “intimate” night felt like an album preview night as they sampled through their catalogue as a band. The band, who has described adult contemporary music as the muse for their upcoming album, which was recorded last year in Nashville, said their album will be released this September with a fall tour to follow.
But, behind the overall quirky vibe of Adult Contemporary, with its moody videos featuring horses, sunsets and waterfalls, the band is totally owning it. Their songs are still written with a groove and rhythmic-focused sound told to honest lyrics of love and loss; their live performance energy is still mesmerizing; and with bandmate and record label changes in the past few years, the band is still going strong with their new direction.
Let’s make Adult Contemporary a comeback.