Album Review: Milky Chance- Blossom

Review by Matt MacKenzie

Recommended Tracks: “Blossom,” “Clouds”

Grade: B+


If you’re asking yourself “Who is Milky Chance?” don’t worry. I had that same thought when scrolling through the new releases on Spotify. Honestly I downloaded the album because the cover photo for it was intriguing. It turned out, however, that it was a catchy album. It wasn’t too fast-paced but not too slow either. It has that nice balance of speed throughout the entirety of the album. But first, let us address the question of who Milky Chance is.

Milky Chance is a group originating from Germany that focuses mainly on folk music. They first emerged back in 2013 with their single “Stolen Dance,” which topped the charts in countries such as Austria, Poland and France. About five months later, they followed their single with an album titled Sadnecessary. It got album of the week by SPIN, described as a “serenely rollicking crossover jam” because it consisted of low beats and gentle guitar. Their first TV appearance came on the Jimmy Kimmel show the same month as Sadnecessary’s release (October 2014).

Folk isn’t a genre I would consider myself to be experienced in, but when I was listening to it, I would never have guessed that it was folk. I would have guessed Indie or something along that line. The album consists of some nice intro hooks following into some mellow lyrics and a catchy chorus (at times). It was very surprising to see that the album included acoustic versions of certain songs—something I’ve never seen. I listened to this on a whim, and it turned out to be a nice find. I’ll probably listen to it again.

Real Estate – In Mind


Review By: Sean Lynch

RIYL: Ducktails, Beach Fossils and The War on Drugs

Recommended Tracks: “Darling” and “Stained Glass”

Grade: B-

Change is eminent in the music world. Whether it is a change in sound, or a change in line -up, changes can alter the whole landscape of a band. A huge change occurred within Real Estate’s dynamic when lead guitarist Matt Mondanile left the band to focus on his own band Ducktales. The band replaced him with Julian Lynch and brought back Matt Kallman on the keyboard for the first time since the band’s 2014 album Atlas.

In Mind serves as the crash course for Lynch to get acclimated with the band. Even with the change in a lead position, the sound does not change too much with the switch from Mondanile to Lynch. The guitar riffs from sounds lighter with less of an edge or fuzz that Mondanile’s guitar sound carried.

In “Darling,” the synth-backed guitar creates a dreamy environment for the listener. The guitar also emulates some elements of surf rock that the band has carried in previous albums that pairs well with the croon of Martin Courtney.

The jangle-filled guitar riff in “Stained Glass” comes the closest to capturing the sound from Atlas out of all the tracks on the album. Courtney takes a back seat in terms of vocals on this song and lets the instrumentals come together. All the instruments create a baroque influenced sound that sets a lighter tone for the song that captures the essence of dream pop.

While a change in the lead guitar position can change the whole sound of a band, the addition of Lynch has not been one to completely alter the dream pop sound of Real Estate. The consistency of sound between albums is not too far off, but the band still needs time to work with Lynch to gain a full scope of what he can do. The album is a good start for the band to begin to get comfortable with Lynch’s style. While not at the level of Atlas, the album is consistent with the band’s previous releases.

Interview: Chastity Ashley of Beauty in the Breakdown

By: Marissa McCall

“From the minute we’re born, sound presents itself and immediately it becomes one with us. It envelops our very essence and sets us on our journey ahead. We grow and take on shapes, colors and surroundings all of which are built through vibration of sound whether you can see with your eyes or feel with your body. This is all music,” says Beauty in the Breakdown’s lead member, Chastity Ashley.

The name Beauty in the Breakdown comes from Chastity’s  “dark moments of beauty in the breakdown. When I heard that I thought it depicted exactly some of the things I’ve been through and some of my fellow musicians have been through. We are the beauty in the breakdown.”

Beauty and the Breakdown formed in 2014 as a percussion-driven electro pop group. With their debut album, Neon, released in April of 2015 they have gone to play all over the world. Their most recent show was in November of 2016 in Palm Springs California. They also headlined the LA Pride Festival along side Ke$ha.

Front woman Chastity has had a unique career thus far. She has played drums for Duran Duran, featured music on Disney movies and opened for Aerosmith. “I started playing drums when I was ten, and I had always wanted to be a drummer and I got into percussion because my family was really around a lot of tribal and rhythm based music.”

Chastity started out with a unique percussion instrument called a djembe, a traditional African drum. “It sounded like an entire percussion set, but it was only one drum. I was so fascinated by it I had to learn how to play. Ironically I bought my first one at guitar center.” The djembe isn’t like a regular drum set “it was so much harder than I ever thought it would be. I had already been playing a drum set for a few years, so I thought it would be easy. I hustled and practiced every single day and had become one of my specialty instruments aside from a full kit.”

Chastity started playing this instrument in every one of her bands. “Having this instrument is such a big influence because when we play live you get to hear what goes into our album. When we try to play we have such an organic approach to our music.”

Beauty in the Breakdown has created music that has an upbeat vibe, and Chastity explains, “In a world that is so sad and torn at the moment people just want to be loved and because of that I feel that’s one of our big messages, and love can be infectious and that’s what out band stands for.”