Milton Star follow their hugely successful double A side record ‘Salvation’ and ‘Sorryville’ with the release of their new single ‘Things Fall Apart’. The track is another example of duo Alan Wyllie and Graeme Currie’s unerring ability to create wonderfully atmospheric stories about love, loss and regret framed in beautifully structured melodies and carried by an expansive tremolo wall of sound and a dark soul.
For those familiar with simultaneously released debut, ‘Things Fall Apart’ finds them in similar territory with a tale of the darker side of the human condition, referencing the destructive capacity of depression and all it entails. “I think we all have that capacity to fall foul of our inner demons at times.” says Alan “and the pace of modern life and the inherent shallowness of relationships lived through social media & technology can detach us a little from the real world and the problems many suffer from, itching just below the surface.”
From the first Duane Eddy inspired twang underpinned by wandering strings and rhythmic arpeggio piano we are in cinematic noire territory and the accompanying video speaks volumes, the roll of the dice, the miniature Mariachis, the Mexicano tarot cards, the sinister skull-painted faces, the burlesque dancers – this is a beautifully tragic song rich in imagery.
Alan and Graeme have been collaborating in different guises dating back to the early days of post punk but these days the duo write and record their unique blend of indie and dark country in a converted church where Alan lives in Fife, which, as Alan explains, is pivotal in the writing process. “The things that feed the ideas and make the sound are the environment and acoustics here in the church and the setting of the surrounding countryside. Out in those fields you could be anywhere at any point in time, and that’s where the stories start to form.”
Graeme adds “Although we have a lot of shared musical influences like the Velvet Underground, Bowie and Roxy Music, I veer towards the more experimental side of things like Captain Beefheart whereas Alan likes a lot of early 50s vintage rock and country. Once you factor into that mix the cinematic soundtrack influences like Angelo Badalamenti and Ennio Morricone, that’s when the Milton Star sound comes together.”
“The vocals travel the mournful baritone channel previously dug by Nick Cave and Mark Lanegan. But the duo of Alan Wyllie and Graeme Currie choose restraint rather than noise. Is is country? Post punk? Lynchian film soundtrack? Well, yes, I suppose it sounds like all of that. The effect is simultaneously beautiful and bleak, but it always is evocative and satisfying.”
When You Motor Away
“UK duo offers up dark and trembling meditations smeared with the meloncholic malaise of experience. Lovelorn, lost, a little broken and filthy, their stuff cuts the Lanegan chops they drop and let Nick Cave saunter in with sleazy ease.”
“It’s how the late and eternally great Lou Reed would sound if he came fae Fife.”
“This is classy stuff with a sense of mischief and the luxurious, almost Elvis-like vocals really hit the spot.”
Listen With Monger
“This is really as cool as f**k…”