Young Jesus – Milo (Stream)

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If it wasn’t fairly clear that Grow/Decompose was one of this site’s favorite records of 2015, allow me to clarify: Grow/Decompose easily ranks among the best things I’ve heard over the past two years and this post won’t be the last time it sees coverage here. Premiering the record’s teaser trailer was an honor and the trailer itself was a great indication of the band’s growing ambition. Hellhole Supermarker will be releasing the record on May 13 but “Milo” definitely warrants a closer look before the rest of the songs are revealed. Before exploring that song, though, there are several other brilliant tracks from this past week that deserve to be heard. Those songs? Whitewash’s “Member“, Seacycles’ “Commando“, Pale Honey’s “Lonesome“, Everything Everything’s “Regret“, Communions’ “Summer Oath“, Daughn Gibson’s “It Was Everything“, Sea of Bees’ “Dad“, Prurient’s “Frozen Niagra Falls (Portion One)“, and Oscar’s “Beautiful Words“. All of them are linked for a reason; they’re compelling pieces of art that deserve to be celebrated as much as possible. Another one of those pieces, of course, is Young Jesus’ “Milo”.

As Grow/Decompose‘s penultimate track, “Milo” already occupied traditionally fertile ground for emotive slow-burners- especially ones that reach breathtakingly climactic moments. As signal-bearers go, that’s a strange mark but “Milo” comfortably occupies a space with the most exemplary tracks to fall into that niche category. Grow/Decompose, much like Home– the band’s previous masterpiece, is a record that makes no qualms about being emotionally-driven. While Home certainly felt personal, “Milo” takes that sense of voyeurism to new heights in the quiet, arresting opening. “He sees your daughter in a sundress/eating oranges alone. He feels the love of a father/a love his brother ignored. But he is fumbling with a bottle/because it makes sense just to hold. But don’t you worry while he’s using/it just makes everything slow.” is about as devastating as introductory scene-setters can possibly manage to be. John Rossiter, the band’s guitarist/vocalist, delivers those opening lines in a broken, vulnerable tone that makes them feel uncomfortably realistic, haunted, and lived-in. The instrumental break that follows feels near-euphoric but is tethered to a sense of weariness that prevents it from feeling too celebratory. It’s an extraordinary track that acts as Grow/Decompose‘s narrative endpoint before “Dirt“, the record’s sprawling epilogue, closes things out. Even though “Dirt” is strong enough in its own right, it allows space for “Milo” to resonate and for the listener to recollect themselves after the severe gut-punch of “Milo”, one of the band’s best tracks in an already astounding catalog of stunners.

Listen to “Milo” below and pre-order Grow/Decompose ahead of its release from Hellhole Supermarket here.