We get it - choosing where to start with all the stacks of great new music each week can be a daunting task. 'The Music' team are here to help though, bringing you our Album Of The Week each Friday. Here's why Milk! Records 'Milk On Milk' takes the cake.
There's a lot to love about Milk! Records. Founded by the much-loved and highly-regarded Courtney Barnett and Jen Cloher back in 2012 as a home for Barnett's debut EP I've Got A Friend Called Emily Ferris and Cloher's In Blood Memory.
Seven years on, the label now boasts some of Australia's finest talent including Jade Imagine, Loose Tooth, East Brunswick All Girls Choir, Evelyn Ida Morris and more, as well internationals like Sleater-Kinney, Chastity Belt and Tiny Ruins.
For this year's Milk! Project (which has previously included the A Pair Of Pears (With Shadows) compilation, special events and limited edition releases) the label presents Milk On Milk, a compilation that sees Milk! artists covering each others tracks.
From Morris' powerful take on Barnett's Nameless, Faceless to Loose Tooth's Name In Lights Cloher cover, the album is sure to make it onto a lot of 'Favourites Of 2019' lists.
What they're saying...
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"We wanted to pick a track that was as far removed from what we would normally do or were comfortable with," said East Brunswick All Girls Choir's frontman Marcus Hobbs of his band's cover of Hachiku's Polar Bears.
"In comparison to our style Hachiku seems to have a lot more going on in the background with samples, synths, drum machines and easter eggs. Surprisingly after we dissected it the nature of the composition wasn’t dissimilar to our style at all. A few chord patterns with the vocal determining the layout of the song. Also a good chance to dirty up a pretty track."
Jade Imagine's Jade McInally describes Tiny Ruins' Dream Wave as "a beautiful work of art" that spoke to her as soon as she heard it.
"I'm sure it will sound like a total cop-out but I honestly think everyone did such an amazing job!" she said when asked if she had a favourite of the covers. "If I had to pick one I would say that when I heard the cover that Tiny Ruins did of our song Tell Her She's Dreamin', I was, as you say, blown away..."
At the heart of the album is the overwhelming sense of family and community; something that Milk! has become known for.
"It’s great, it’s communal and it’s fun," said Hobbs of Milk! Records.
"It’s hard to put into words, you’re never pressured to do anything you don’t want to do and it works as each band has their own methods behind how they want to go about it. I feel like being in a band on the label is like that uncle who turns up to Christmas lunch and cooks the BBQ and gets all the credit. There’a a lot of other cogs going on behind the scenes that makes it work so well that often go unseen."
"I feel empowered being on a label like this," added McInally. "I love and trust everyone who works at Milk! and it's great to feel so supported by them. It's a positive crew who work hard because they believe in what they're selling."
What we're saying...
Review by Tim Kroenert. Read more here...
"There’s a neat little Easter egg on Loose Tooth’s cover of Name In Lights. Jen Cloher’s original called back to a song by a fellow Aussie troubadour and songwriting influence with the line: 'Happiness is a chemical/Darren Hanlon said that'. Loose Tooth’s version extends the salute to include Milk! Mentor-In-Chief Cloher herself: 'Happiness is a chemical/Jen and Darren said that.'
"The moment typifies the mutual affection and admiration that veritably oozes from this release, with nine Milk! artists offering their own loving takes on each other’s songs.
"...This peek into the extended Milk! universe is so warm and human that it’s hard not to share the love."
Looking for more new music? Head here right this way for the full list of this week's releases.