"Milo Greene," Milo Greene (Chop Shop/Atlantic)
Somewhere in the isolated foothills of northern California, there must be something magical in the water. How else to explain the musical culmination of a house-sitting stint that took three college classmates and turned them into Milo Greene, a very new and very good band with a self-titled debut album?
To be clear, there is no man named Milo Greene — it was merely a device concocted in the band's early days to make it appear as though they had a manager. They're hardly faking it on this album, "Milo Greene," a tapestry of richly reverbed guitar, inventive drum work and something sorely missing amid today's morass of arrange-by-numbers rock music — a beautifully delivered concept.
That concept is to present their music absent of the disturbances of a frenetic society that closes in from all sides. They admittedly aimed for a pastoral feel and it shows on wind-swept tracks like "What's The Matter" and "Perfectly Aligned."
Milo Greene, now a five-piece outfit, is often carried here by lush vocals from Marlana Sheetz. She hits each note on "Son My Son" with perfect pitch, yet with just enough throaty delivery to keep the lyrics alive and seeping with emotion.
Some songs have a jazz cadence, while others are tinged with bluegrass. Each approach carries with it something contemplative about isolation amid bustle. "Milo Greene" is about as impressive a debut album you can have for music of this flavor.
CHECK THIS TRACK OUT: The band saves the best for last with the final track, "Autumn Tree." The harmonies are full and focused and the melody swells as the song goes on. For a band that didn't exist four years ago, they sound like they've been singing this forever.