The Miltones – self-titled

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Break through this exterior of mine, I have the images to your lifeline…

Imaginations run wild as the world of Milly Tabak and The Miltones welcomes you in. From jaunty opener Pursed Lips, a genuine care is evident, not to mention a smile so warm it risks setting fire to half of west Auckland. The quintet’s debut soundscape conjures a special place: one measured in magic and in memory.

Utter reassurance that the undefinable will start making more sense should we stop dwelling on the ‘why’ and simply look to those who’ve helped us find our way, words like ‘arcane’, ‘poignant’ and ‘bewitching’ can spring forth when wandering this sometimes daunting land. Curb all descriptors, as otherworld lacquer to keys, guitars and Tabak’s quiet intensity build yearning for a thesis than an entrée of adjectives.

As in Tabak’s lamentations, the young group’s debut keeps distilled (Mothers Ruin) and acts as a meditation on grief and wonder. A declaration of keeping spirits high (and close) throughout well… everything, a mood brews as thick as molasses but origins remain hidden, giving the record the air of a dream whose details have faded but fervour holds true.

The hypnotic and shivering howls of Gypsy Queen, whirling fantasy of The Wanderer, and knee-slapping bluegrassian Dancing With The Dead, The Miltones is a nuanced journey teeming with life and love. Eleven tracks mysterious and evocative, the record moves an aural Rorschach and ponders what we cling to, and what we choose to let go.

A dawn trek into the woods, The Miltones is to stumble across a beautiful old cabin. You’re not sure how it got there and at this time of day, you can’t even be sure that it’s real. It doesn’t matter. Smile, and feel damned lucky to have been passing through.

The Miltones – self-titled