With shimmeringly ominous analogue synths, lush string arrangements and layers of bold psych rock guitar the Melbourne/Brisbane based duo Milk Buttons is the creation of experienced songwriters Jackson Muir (Mosman Alder) and Cameron Bower (Big Dead).
Between the two (in other projects) they have played festivals such as Splendour In The Grass, Groovin’ The Moo and Falls Festival; supported the likes of Kimbra, Father John Misty, Big Scary, Bernard Fanning, The Besnard Lakes and Tortoise; and released critically received records and embarked on their own headline tours.
Helping piece the songs together, Muir and Bower reached out to friends who are also making marks in the alt-rock/ post-punk scene – Nick Broomham (Big Bad Echo) on Bass and Alex L’Estrange (Mid Ayr, Emma Louise) on drums and co-engineer.
Bringing together this wealth of experience and tastes in songwriting, their debut release ‘Flowers’ is a “high key creeper” (triple J) featuring Cameron Bower’s soft and tender croon with a strong combination of bright and melancholic melodies, harmonies and textures of dirty psych rock guitar, percussive acoustic strumming and gloomy synth lines.
Kicking the EP off is a taste of Muir’s vocal over a minimalistic and slow star-gazing track fittingly titled, ‘Another Night’ that features relaxed surf-rock like slides on guitar with huge reverb. Muir states that the track is, “A narrative, from the perspective of a conflicted nihilist, who falls in love.”
Following the second track ‘Flowers’ is ‘Most Of The Time’ that dramatically shifts dynamics to a gentle ballad sung by Muir accompanied by soft piano, lightly strummed acoustic guitars and lush layers of strings.
Like many of their influencing predecessors, Milk Buttons share the lead vocals track by track and Bower’s soft and tender croon returns for the ‘Walt’ that lifts the melancholic feeling from the previous track. It’s bright, spirited and heartwarming feel is accentuated by short moments of minor intervals in the pre-chorus to joyful bursts of lead guitar, strings and naturalist poetry for the tracks hook. With a splashing, wall of sound bridge that builds to a guitar solo that replicates the verses melodies, ‘Walt’ is something that comes close to a British Pop-Rock sound of the likes of Oasis or Wilco.
The final track of the EP ‘Flossy Moss’, returns to the traditional British Psychedelic-Rock vibe (like something George Martin may have helped produce) attributed by Muir’s high vocals and the textual backdrop including reverse delay/loops on guitars, the Harmonium and the Mellotron.
It is clear that Milk Buttons do indeed wear their influences from Wilco, Neil Young, and The Band to the Beach Boys and of course, The Beatles on their sleeve.
Cameron Bower (Brisbane) and Jackson Muir (Melbourne) are available for interviews. Please contact Kick Push PR to find out availability and to organise media passes for any of the upcoming shows.