Milezo on the Rise
Why Austin's U21 bands are unique
By Aaron Miller,
1:44PM, Tue. Nov. 2, 2010
With strong showings from Speak at ACL and Mother Falcon at this weekend's Fun Fun Fun Fest, young Austin bands are getting a spotlight.
This core group has grown larger as our homegrown musicians entered local colleges and came into contact with new musical peers. From there, the scene began to take shape as they solidified lineups, become friends, and played shows together.
I was introduced to Milezo by way of mutual friends Marmalakes, (who are friends with Mother Falcon, who are friends with Speak, etc.), and whose recent Wonder Winds EP has helped ignite a buzz that is beginning pack the folk-pop trio’s shows rather tightly.
Milezo is Miles Kelley, who has been writing and recording music for quite some time. Milezo recently released his Ghostwalking LP and is currently recording another full-length album. Ghostwalking is an impressive listen that offers the sort of musical intricacies and aesthetics that can only really come through self-recording. Kelley records in a project studio built in a mini-house in his parent’s backyard.
When an artist has unlimited (and free) studio time, they have the luxury of focusing solely on the artistic aspect of the music instead of staying on budget and churning out a quick album. This freedom leads to a sort of imagination found in artists like Chad VanGaalen or Austin’s recent guest, Sufjan Stevens. Milezo falls into a similar category, painting dreamy musical landscapes that in no way sound rushed.
The music on Ghostwalking has an exploratory quality, dabbling in folk and pop with dashes of reverb, lyrical melodies seeming to take occasional pauses to contemplate ideas and get lost in an array of distant bells and whispering piano and synthesizer. Songs like "We Awake" and "Reddy Ice" offer a more conventional format with verses and catchy refrains, whereas pieces like "Treetops" and the title track abandon structure and escalate in favor of percussive and synth-driven ambiance, sprinkled with nature noises and bits of conversation reminiscent of early Animal Collective.
Being young in Austin is almost an unfair advantage. You don’t need to look hard for quality art and music, and if you live here long enough it will come to you. What we are seeing in this wave of incredible young talent is the product of childhood spent in our fair city.
To those of you who watched Mother Falcon’s ovation-worthy performance at this year’s Austin Music Awards; or saw them, Speak, and the Bright Light Social Hour walk away with awards; or waited in a long line at Marmalakes’ EP release show, there is plenty more where that came from.