Maybe it’s my withdraw as I desperately continue the pursuit of the lyricism of The Weakerthan’s John Samson which brings me to briefly binge upon the stuff of Matthew Milia (out of Detroit) and his single “Puncture”. But in his intricate lyrics with rhyme that hits a little flat and heavy at times (“Meanwhile the backyard has new knives for grass / it punctures my bare feet, soccer balls hissing gas”) a surprising, touching orchestral arrangement emerges from an indie foundation.
As the singer and guitarist for indie folk band Frontier Ruckus, with his solo project Milia dives more deeply into his Midwest upbringing to conjure images of a collective summer experience as he sings “And it feels different this time around / The sunburned bodies where I walk through town.” He breaks apart the plastic façade of suburban life to pick up the pieces of hope and sadness that exist in all of us, turn them in his fingers and capture them in a verse or two- “Meanwhile the lazy love we both outgrew / Is reincarnated as a girl who tastes nothing like you.”
The arrangement reminds me of the first time I heard Bright Eyes Keep Your Ear to the Ground, the Story is in the Soil with grand breakdowns in places a beat or two off and instruments I didn’t expect to hear making ghostly appearances (as in the cello, trumpet and organ that creep into “Puncture”).
I previewed the full length and I’m intrigued. There’s variety here with fuller rock songs (that compare more with Conor Oberst’s current stuff) and pared down confessionals. If you want to go on a little sonic journey with images that stand out like photographs of dusty suburban streets, then Mathew Milia might be your next favorite thing.
His album, Alone in St. Hugo, is coming out May 3rd. Check out the video and do yourself a favor to hide not feel your head swim in strange satisfaction at 1:52 when the chorus soars.
His track will be added to our Check This playlist when it gets to Spotify.