Sonic Diet

On The Rise: Milo


words by Dan Oberbruner

Milo has been getting a lot of press nation-wide lately–and for good reason. Over the course of several cassette EP’s, digital singles and an album, the Wisconsin rapper has developed a formidable catalog of thoughtful, relevant songs mining literature, video games, professional wrestling, philosophy and social media for material while creating a new vocabulary and a new dialogue for an audience raised on the web, hyper-aware and wondering what to do with all that information. And while LA Weekly has deemed his style “Art Rap,” it’s more likely that the artist himself more accurately described his work when he called it “Nerd Hop” on the track “David Foster Wallace” from his first full-length effort I wish my brother Rob was here. Of course, the truth is that while Milo careens through songs so dense with humor, wit and carefully juxtaposed observations on contemporary life, he not only addresses, but defies any easy categorization through keen self-awareness.

Milo just completed the Geordie La Forgery Tour promoting his latest 30-minute EP, Cavalcade, a concept record based loosely on the near death of his grandfather and his love of the 1970’s folk-rock band America. Cavalcade was produced by Riley Lake and explores themes of language, love, morality and mortality incorporating samples of America songs and audio clips from films about philosophers and from professional wrestling matches. With lines like “I have the super power to summon pipe dreams when I might need ‘em” on “Red Oleanders” and “Hot damn it, I’m bad at this / Ever wonder where David Mamet is? / Probably not, well / I’m convinced he’s my life’s narrator,” on standout track “Besos” Milo manages to deftly balance heavy lyrical content with lightheartedness and genuine insight. And while Milo’s style is somewhat reminiscent of Anticon artists like Yoni Wolf who began charting a path for cerebral, meta-analytical, heavily neurotic and ultimately forward-thinking lyricists in indie rock, Milo’s humor and positivity, coupled with his literary and philosophical bent make him a completely singular force.

Cavalcade and the equally excellent Things That Happen at Day and Things That Happen at Night are available through the Los Angeles based label Hellfyre Club. Additional recordings can be found at Milo’s Bandcamp.

This entry was published on September 11, 2013 at 9:00 am. It’s filed under General, Local Music, On The Rise, Reviews and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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