Tuesday, 15 February 2011
Over the last few weeks our new music recommendations have been pretty electronica-heavy. Blame that pesky James Blake for turning our heads and our hearts towards post-dubstep sonic invention. Anyway, this week we're back in less bewitching territory with Milk Maid, a band who grew up listening to Pavement, not Tricky.
Milk Maid are from Manchester, where a lot of great stuff seems to be happening at the moment. And about time. Finally Manc music-makers are no longer having to rely on the legacy of the Hacienda, tales about how they totally once saw Tony Wilson sign a contract with the blood of Ian Curtis, or Noel bloody Gallagher. No siree. MM are striking out on their own. They're the newish project of Martin Cohen, previously from fuzzy grunge types Nine Black Alps. We always rather liked the Alps but, as ever, the NME built them up, destroyed them, threw their bones to the wolves and danced around a bonfire of their torched remains. Not that Martin has let it get him down. He's picked himself up, dusted himself off and started making music that retains the fuzzy driving rhythms of his old band and takes it into a more swirling surf pop direction.
Perhaps that's why the sound is so much fun. Hindsight is 20:20 and, armed with it, Cohen is just able to make music that makes you smile. He's done the whole being in the spotlight thing. He knows that unless you're the Rolling Stones, all that gets you is a couple of backstage blowjobs and a magazine cover to show your grandchildren. So now he makes music that's just him having a jolly good time, sometimes solo, sometimes with his mates. Of course it helps that he has talented musician mates and not ones that work in Nando's. The rest of the band is made up of the dudes from Weird Era, and with their backing he's able to achieve a meatier sound.
Milk Maid - Such Fun by neumagazine
The band have been playing shows alongside Male Bonding, Smith Westerns and Titus Andronicus which probably tells you where you should be slotting their music. Plus there are three songs on their Myspace which hint at a childhood spent listening to, amongst others, Guided By Voices. 'Can't You See' sounds like that guy who initiates a sing song at a beach party, 'Such Fun' sounds like The Vaselines with the female bits taken outs and 'Girl' is Tom Petty's 'American Girl' if it had been done by The Shins. And it's all fun with a capital F.
We're not really sure when this whole dreamy pop thing is going to end, but we hope it's not for a while yet. As much as we love a bit of synth experimentalism, sometimes you just can't bit a nice bit of sun inducing pop. Watch out. When summer comes Milk Maid's wares are going to be in high demand.