October 23, 2014

Milo Greene: Where Have They Gone?

Milo Greene circa 2011
I went to go see Milo Greene last night, but the band I thought I knew so well was nowhere to be found.

Back in the spring of 2011, at the height of the indie-folk revival that launched the careers of bands like Edward Sharpe and Fleet Foxes, Milo Greene entered the ring. I was so excited by The Hello Sessions, their first two-tracks, that I drove 100 miles to see one of their first shows at The Troubadour in Los Angeles. The debut single, "1957," was and is one my favorite songs, a perfect folk romp that continues to grow until its nearly anthemic climax. I saw them live whenever I could over the following years, and consider their debut record one of 2012's best.

Their shows always stood out to me for a number of reasons: The group was friendly and appreciative, there was no clear frontman, and there was also no weak link. All the band members could sing, play multiple instruments, and could front a group in their own right. 

Milo Greene circa 2014

Fast-forward to 2014 and the same crew has announced album #2 and released a new single, "White Lies." Well, this is different. On the new track, and at their show last night at NYC's Terminal 5, Milo Greene has transformed into a completely different band. Gone are the oversize flannels and ponchos, replaced by leather jackets and sleek pantsuits. No more instrument trading, no more smiles, just synth-laden, retro-ish indie pop. Much of their musical warmth is gone and even their press photos have lost color! Is it a coincidence that their sound has done a 180 to match the hip sound of 2014? I hope so. 

It's not that I don't enjoy their new music. "White Lies" is catchy enough, and the rest of their new tracks are nice albeit generic. I don't hate the new Milo Greene; I just miss the old one. 

Can't I have both?