By Eddy Lopez
After the breakup of his former band, Furnsss, Brendan Dyer moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles and started his own solo project under the name Milly. With the move came a different sound, something in the realm of slowcore and grunge, pulling inspiration from ‘90s bands such as Smashing Pumpkins and Sonic Youth, in addition to Dangerbird labelmates such as Swervedriver and Grandaddy. Soon, Milly released their first EP (First Four Songs) in 2019, followed by a tour with Swervedriver where their sound developed with the formation of a full, collective band. Now, Wish Goes On, the band’s first EP and collaborative project (released April 9), finds them even more polished.
The album kicks off with the mellow wall of shimmering distortion and reverb with “Star Spangled Banner.” The melancholy melody goes into a jerky guitar lead over a darkly warped bass, sonically encapsulating the anxiety, depression, and anger that has faced this country over the past few years. Lyrically, Brenden goes on to question the love and respect we were taught to give our country as kids — “The care that I learned, is turning off tonight.” The song ends with dragged, heavy guitars, signalling a glimmer of hope and perfectly introducing the EP.
“Denial” and “Star Thistle Blossom” — which has one of the heavier sounding choruses on the EP, so much so that it’s almost hard not headbanging along to it — amplify those ideas of hope, while “Denial” wishfully thinks of something/someone lost coming back, and the back and forth emotional feelings that come with that, as lush guitars harmonize with the drums. Later, the off-kilter, ringing guitars that kick off with “Teach Old Dogs New Tricks” remind me of a more melodic version of something Unwound would do. The vocals on “Birds Fly Free” stand out as delicate, pure, and refined; a testament to the sparkling production by Corey Coffman of contemporary shoegazers Gleemer.
With Wish Goes On, Milly brings forth a free flowing transition into a collaborative effort, collecting sounds of the ‘90s and molding them into a shimmering new fuzz, gloomy but reflecting themes of growth, and the hope of a bright future. As an example of this, Milly’s newest music video for “Denial” uses playful animation and visual effects, featuring Brendan with an evolving caterpillar, eventually riding the now evolved butterfly through the galaxy. Basically, as the video portrays, Wish Goes On is like a fully evolved butterfly and we’re riding it through the galaxy — it serves as a reminder to allow yourself to wish, and roam freely with the stars.
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