The Milling Gowns ‎– Diving Bell Shallows

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Monarch Opal ‎– MO001
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themillinggowns

themillinggowns

February 18, 2010

REVIEW: The Milling Gowns On The Noise Top 30
February 17, 2009 · Leave a Comment
The Milling Gowns are listed as #16 on The Noise Top 30 list this week.
We finished a record together called Diving Bell Shallows last year. They are making waves and building a tribe of followers. Here are some notes on things they are doing right.
Most fans of rock music will HATE them.
They aren’t everything to everyone. They write short, sad and dramatic pop songs that will sicken most listeners. For their core audience, there is no one else who is doing exactly what they are doing.
They are associated with a a cause… sort of.
The Milling Gowns are fighting for the pink team. With two gay members and lyrical themes to match, it is no question that M’s (lead singer) preference is a part of the band. Their fans embrace this and it sets them apart from legions of other gothy post scenesters. At the same time, they are classy enough to keep the flag waving at bay. Their stance is not an overt statement, but a statement meant for their true audience.
They know how to produce a record, and can still rock.
Milling Gowns have a clear internal vision of what their band actually sounds like. They could describe it to you in one sentence, and with dedicated confidence. Everyone in the band knows what that direction means, and it has been discussed. When we were in the studio together, there was never an issue of how a song would be organized or how the audience should perceive the song. It was just a matter of making it happen in a way that sounded right. The preproduction was left for the rehearsal room.
These qualities might seam trivial to some. To me, they are the difference between a band that will sputter out, and a band that will continuously grow artistically and with greater reach. SHANE O'CONNOR http://shaneoconnorrecording.wordpress.com/2009/02/17/the-milling-gowns-on-the-noise-top-30/

themillinggowns

themillinggowns

January 28, 2010

REVIEW: Vreemd of beter bevreemdend beestje deze uit Boston afkmostig eMilling Gowns. Het eerste wat al meteen opvalt is de wel zeer sterk op de (oudere) 4AD lay out gebaseerde vormgeving van de lay out. Esthetisch verantwoord maar toch een tikkeltje bijzonder en mysterieus dromerig. O ja, 4AD was in de jaren ’80 een invloedrijk label dat heel wat interessante releases (o.a. Cocteau Twinds, Dead Can Dance, This Mortal Coil, X-Mal Deutschland, Clan Of Xymox,…) op de postpunk en new wave scene losliet. Tegenwoordig biedt het label onderdak aan groepen als Stereolab, The Breeders, The Mountian Goats, Atslas Sound, … Maar, voor alle duidelijkheid deze “Dinving Bell Shadows”, het debuut van The Milling Gowns is niet uit bij 4AD. Dus terug naar de essentie, het viertal Allan Esser, Betty Widerski, M en Sharon Crumrine presenteren ons gloom pop, wars van alle trends en tendensen wordt hier bijna klassiek gemusiceerd om tot een naakt, doch intens, warm geheel te komen dat ofwel oeverloos op de zenuwen werkt ofwel al uw aandacht in zich opzuigt. Met andere woorden je houdt er van of je vindt dit oude ballen gezeik uit het goth RVT waar batterijen aan elektronica alsookelektrische gitaren alweer plaats hebben gemaakt voor cello en piano. Luistermuziek dus, intelligent maar soms een beetje zagerig en monotoon, die klassiek met pop probeert te verzoenen maar misschien net iets te ernstig blijft doorheen “Diving Bell Shadows” om de volledige rit genietbaar te blijven. Een volledige luisterbeurt weegt behoorlijk zwaar en gaat na een paar nummers toch een beetje slaapverwekkende bijwerking vertonen. Mooit tekstfragmenten maken dan weer een en ander geod. Ik spreek natuurlijk geheel voor mezelf. Dit neemt niet weg dat voor zij die willen luisteren The Milling Gowns wel degelijk enige talenten in de schaal te werpen hebben, al zullen het wel nooit echte feestvierders worden dit viertal. Bijzonder en omwille van de klankkleur tochwel opvallend schijfje op de Dark Entries redactie dat zeker niet alleen in de scene zal worden gesmaakt, maar misschien zelfs meer aan de rand er van of er buiten. http://www.darkentries.be/nl/cds/?cdid=1010
themillinggowns

themillinggowns

January 28, 2010

http://www.darkroom-magazine.it/ita/109/Recensione.php?r=1155
Poche settimane fa abbiamo incrociato i percorsi di varie band residenti a Boston tra i solchi del sampler "Sky So Grey": nelle parole di quella recensione nacque l'auspicio di ritrovare singolarmente le varie concretizzazioni nel futuro, con le loro creazioni, per divenire una voce nel nostro paese, un canale aperto verso un universo per lo più sconosciuto, ma con molti spunti d'interesse. Ecco i Milling Gowns: una delle band con il maggiore impatto, immediato nel comporre un suono che, nell'amalgama tra strumenti moderni e classici, richiama l'ascolto verso ciò che tra le mura della 4AD nacque in passato. Quella è la scuola di riferimento, senza ipocrisie o false modestie, e proprio per ciò i quattro americani sono credibili ed il loro primo full-lenght è appassionato ed avvincente. Loro stessi definiscono il sound proposto 'gloom-pop', e nulla di così veritiero si avvicinerebbe di più a ciò che le undici tracce di "Diving Bell Shadows" sono: un pop oscuro e malinconico, tra archi e fiati, chitarra, basso e batteria, cori eterei e la voce baritonale di M. Rimbach, perfetta nell'intonazione, calda nei toni, mesta nel retrogusto amarognolo di un dolore interiore. Una piccola suite in chiave mid-tempo apre il dischetto: "The Bird In The Ice" nasce tra piccoli frammenti di pianoforte che accolgono prima la batteria (discretamente di spalla ad ogni strumento dell'album, ma piena della grande tecnica esecutiva di Allen Esser), poi la chitarra e lentamente anche la voce, ma solo dopo che l'atmosfera è creata. Colori spenti nel pathos generale pure nella traccia successiva, "Cape The Pearls": di nuovo il piano suonato da Sharon Crumrine protagonista insieme alla voce, ma è la nota di violoncello, che timido s'intromette rispettoso del mood dolente, che genera sentimenti di pura inquietudine. In egual modo nei momenti più ariosi in cui s'inseriscono i cori, il rispetto per l'animo di un artista completamente esteriorizzato è prioritario. Le tante voci sono in realtà non un unisono, ma mille solitudini condivise, eteree come ectoplasmi. Uno dei quali è Nick Cave, grande ispiratore dei Milling Gowns. Non solo lui: così nella vivace "Palace Of Owls" come in "Violet Wrist", la presenza di un altro grande seduttore dell'animo si fa forza in chi capta le piccole sfumature, ed è Morrissey, sia nei brani lenti degli Smiths (leggi "I Know Is Over") che nelle ultime produzioni come "You Are The Quarry". Se a questa intensità tra strumentazioni classiche e non ci aggiungete un oboe, questo riesce ad essere evocativo fino al punto di surrogare la voce umana: è il caso di "Lily Of The Mouth", flebile ma forte nel portare la malinconia alle vette più eccelse. Ed ogni singola traccia meriterebbe una menzione, ma lasciamo a voi che leggete la volontà di trovare spunti nell'ascolto, ma un'ultima dedica la riserviamo al brano che chiude il dischetto, "Bathing The Dead": greve nei toni del piano e nella voce di Mark, non più malinconici bagliori ma il buio totale, come buie possono essere le performance della Galás o le intuizioni di chi collaborò anni fa nel creare le depressioni artistiche dei This Mortal Coil. Così si conclude "Diving Bell Shadows", senza speranza per l'anima, rimandando a futuri lavori la ricerca della luce, soccombendo tra le note smorzate della musica che s'avvia alla conclusione. Citando sopra tre membri della band, è doveroso menzionare la quarta, Betty Widersky, eclettica nell'uso del violino come della viola, ma troppo lungo sarebbe l'elenco di tutti gli ospiti, fra violoncelli, cori, voci, arpe, basso, chitarra elettrica... Tutti sono menzionati in un ottimo ed esaustivo booklet: oltre venti 'guest' per donare, da oggi anche al pubblico europeo, un gioiello che nasce a Boston ma che è frutto di tanta musica europea. Il grande onore è sapere che se parte della musica classica continua a vivere nel terzo millennio, lo fa anche e soprattutto sotto una veste scura che ci appartiene, e ciò non può che essere motivo di orgoglio per tutti noi che il 'dark' lo amiamo senza condizioni. - Nicola Tenani
themillinggowns

themillinggowns

January 28, 2010

REVIEW: june 25 2009 Thursday, July 2- Chriss Sutherland, The Boy Who Spoke Clouds, The Milling Gowns [ED: I've been listening to their CD "diving bell shallows" at work non-stop. We'll have that review in really soon...]
By Christopher Hislop
July 02, 2009 2:00 AM
Diving Bell Shallows," the debut album from The Milling Gowns is a musical feast chock-full of "all the good stuff." The music has a "dark" feel to it; often slow in tempo, with an abundance of full, orchestral string arrangements that give the record a cinematic feel.
—¦Shallows," is certainly a great record to listen to through the headphones so you pick up on all of the important minute details that swirl around in the background and contribute wholeheartedly to the richness of this record.
The Milling Gowns at its core are Allen Esser (drums), Betty Widerski (viola, violin, octave viola, backing vocals, music box, and typewriter), Sharon Crumrine (piano, keyboard, backing vocals, and glockenspiel) and Mark Rimbach (vocals). The group was formed as a vehicle to showcase the original songs penned by Rimbach (or M. as he is referred to in the liner notes).
Right out of the gate the Milling Gowns get right under your skin and initiate an immediate addiction to the music that pull you in and along for the entirety of the record with a force that cannot be often found when listening to new bands that you are unfamiliar with. The music is stellar, and produces for the listener a grand ethereal experience, but it's the voice of M. that is really gripping.
His voice is a mash-up of sorts of Ian Curtis and a less "feminine" (for lack of a better word) Antony Hegarty. To say the least, it's quite stunning.
The two highlights on this record for me are the second track, "Cape the Pearls," which, like many of the other tunes on the record starts slowly. However the six minute and 38-second opus builds its way up and propels the listener into one such orchestral soundscape that crushes to the very core. With the musical ride intact and lyrics like "On words alone I tried to stand, I built my house on sinking sand...;" the tune is simply stunning, and a great example of where this band can take you.
The second highlight is the guest appearance by local "troubadour" (as they call him, "legend," as I call him) Dan Blakeslee. Blakeslee offers intricate acoustic guitar arrangements to two tracks on the recording, "Macaw," and "Lily of the Mouth" as well as backing vocals on "Macaw." As always, his work is stunning and quite enjoyable in this setting.
The Milling Gowns' "Diving Bell Shallows" is very much, time well spent. Check it. http://sitesearch.seacoastonline.com/?q=milling%20gowns&source=scn

themillinggowns

themillinggowns

January 28, 2010

Echappée musicale entre le lyrique, le baroque, une école buissonnière avec Chopin qui se serait mis au rock-symphonique en rencontrant Joy Division et les Pixies, voilà les Milling gowns.
J'aime ce groupe de Boston. Il transforme le dramatique en beauté absolue, le grave en réconfort.
M est un auteur-compositeur de perles intemporelles. M est un auteur-compositeur qui grave dans le marbre, qui sertit ses mélodies de diamants bruts: Sharon Crumrine au piano depuis 2005. Cette année là, les deux artistes se rencontrent et travaillent les arrangements des premières chansons. Le batteur Allen Esser se joint à eux et la talentueuse Betty Widerski entre en scène avec son archet pour intégrer la formation. Les Milling Gowns sortiront leur premier ep en janvier 2007, Light of the World Shine on Me.
Leur album dont la sortie est prévue le 13 Septembre 2008 Diving Bell Shallows est le premier album, assurément un disque cousu d'or que je classe comme objet d'art. Le violoncelle et la harpe sur la voix newwave de M, les orchestrations en osmose avec les cordes du piano créent un disque-entité, un disque à thème désormais devenu rareté. Il est hors norme et appelle l'attention, tant par l'intonation grave et si belle de M que par les notes de piano que Sharon sème avec beaucoup de dextérité. M et Sharon sont de grands compositeurs et arrangeurs. L'ambiance quoi qu'il en soit, d'une noire mélancolie tend vers l'émotionnel. Victor Hugo disait "la mélancolie, c'est le bonheur d'être triste".
Certains titres sont extrémement pop-rock comme Bird in the Ice où M est indétronable, charismatique. Pinch & Bust est une balade pop ornée de rythmiques, de basse où la touche de Sharon vient swinguer gaiement. Stars' Nest en fin d'écoute annonce avec la trompette une déclaration d'amour sur une instrumentation alternative. M déclame avec poésie You leave and all the stars fall down, the forest clear without a sound, the rivers and the seeds run black, what can i say to bring you black.
Le violon de Betty Widerski est majestueux tout au long des titres. M, Sharon, Allen et Betty sont en plus des personnes charmantes, drôles, distribuant de la bonne humeur à tous ceux qui les connaissent. La musique des Milling Gowns les représente bien, touchante et vivante. http://kingem.blogspot.com/2008_08_01_archive.html
themillinggowns

themillinggowns

January 28, 2010

REVIEW: Monday Music #16 (The Milling Gowns)
Today's edition is all about The Mens!
As you've no doubt noticed if you've been paying even the most cursory attention, most of the artists I've featured are female. Over 90%, probably even more. Of course, if the genders were switched, this wouldn't even bear mention. That's all I have to say about that.
It'll be a short entry today, so apologies in advance.
~*~*~
A while back, a poster to Ecto wrote about The Milling Gowns, a Boston-based band, and recommended "Violet Wrist" in particular. I didn't know what to expect going in, but was pleasantly surprised. The song's all piano snippets and eerie background voices and a wonderful "I will heal you" chorus. http://selfasfractal.blogspot.com/2009/04/monday-music-16-milling-gowns.html
themillinggowns

themillinggowns

January 28, 2010

REVIEW: MUSIC THAT NEEDS TO BE HEARD. RIYL: Morrissey, The Cure, The Dears, Cocteau Twins
From the first notes you hear pouring out of singer M., it is obvious that The Milling Gowns know how to write gloomy pop that not only tugs at your heart strings but rips them right out. Introspective lyrics and lush arrangements encompass songs like “The Bird in The Ice” and drag you into their world. It is hard to stay emotionally detached from songs that sound so powerful. Pianist Sharon Crumrine and violinist Betty Widerski add richness to M.’s vocals which compete with the best melancholy musicians. The timeless ambiance of songs such as “Airedales” might be the perfect prescription for those dreary afternoons. Dave Spak http://www.decoymusic.com/blog_posts/848
themillinggowns

themillinggowns

January 28, 2010

REVIEW: The Flophouse Sessions is a wonderfully cool show produced by Andy Guthrie and Jen Kelley, podcasters extraordinaire and Somerville residents behind Band in Boston.
Band in Boston covers all kinds of music, not just local artists – where the Flophouse Sessions focus mostly on local bands, who perform live (and mostly acoustic) at Andy and Jen’s house.
They’ve also started to produce a podcast called Boston Bootlegs, for live performances captured in clubs and such – but there are only a few of those so far.
Milling Gowns are a relatively new band, started in the winter of 2006, and somwhat difficult to describe. Here are their influences, as listed on their myspace page:
Cocteau Twins, Nick Cave, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, My Bloody Valentine, Magnetic Fields, Kitchens Of Distinction, Elvis, Echo & The Bunnymen, Lowlife, The Cure, Scott Walker, The Bathers, Red House Painters, David Bowie, Low, The Beatles, Jimmy Somerville, Tom Waits, Billy MacKenzie, Joy Division, Lloyd Cole, Lions & Ghosts, New Order, Morrissey, Tindersticks, Peter Murphy, Wolfgang Press, Pet Shop Boys, Robyn Hitchcock, Burt Bacharach, Iggy Pop, The Blue Nile, The Church, The Smiths, Erasure, Leonard Cohen, (clan of) Xymox, The Wild Swans, The Chameleons UK, The Gun Club, Hugo Race, The Triffids, 4ad, Factory Records.
Deep, baritone male voice, melancholy songs, more Leonard Coen meets Joy Division than Jimmy Somerville.
Can’t find much about them online at this point – one note in the Boston Phoenix from December of 2006. They have apparently put out an EP titled “Light Of The World Shine On Me” which is sold at shows – anyone know of another place to get a copy? http://www.goatless.org/2007/05/05/flophouse-milling-gowns