Milo Duhn // Feature Friday
Written by: Kayla Lee
Incongruity, the full length album from upstate NY based acoustic emo artist Milo Duhn, is a ten track trip through the ups, downs, and in-betweens of growing up, growing apart, and learning that it's all a part of the process.
Armed with an acoustic guitar and a voice that conveys emotion with each line, Milo pens honest, heartfelt lyrics that, while not pushing the envelope, have created a clear time capsule of pivotal experiences. Reminiscent of Nashville-based solo artist Bogues, Milo's candid style pulls you in without a second thought.
Each of Milo's songs are deeply personal and detailed, but don't give off an air of exclusivity and instead invite the listener in. Stand out tracks include "Part 1: The Reason I Hate Sidewalks," "Temporary Terror," and "Part 2: The Reason I'm Grateful." "Temporary Terror," with references to high school ending and college applications, explores seasons of life ending and new beginnings approaching as well as the mixed feelings and uncertainty that come with the change.
"Part 1: The Reason I Hate Sidewalks" is a walk through a private, depression riddled experience of a relationship ending and the struggle that comes with coming to terms after it's said and done-- "So when did you become so numb / I spend my days staring at my ceiling / Because nothing sounds appealing" are lyrics that anyone who's gone through a tough time can relate to.
However, "Part 2: The Reason I'm Grateful" reveals a bittersweet closure to an otherwise painful experience with lyrics like "It's okay you evolved away from me / Because I won't pretend that I never had to drift away / I just wish that our fondest memories / Didn't get mixed in with all the bullshit."
With Milo's song writing ability being clearly displayed throughout all of Incongruity, one can only hope that the lyrical sincerity is not lost on future offerings.
Q: What's the first song that you ever wrote?
A: The first song I ever wrote was called “Just Be Glad.” I wrote it when I was eight years old, and played it for all the other tiny people on the playground during recess. I was by far the most attention seeking kid you could ever imagine, but I mean hey, that’s a pretty cool memory to have as a first song and first performance.
Q: What's the music scene in Buffalo like -- any favorite venues?
A: The Buffalo Music scene is pretty unpredictable a lot of times. I’ve played shows for two people, I’ve played shows for nearly 100 people. It’s a total gamble with what shows will have a good turn out. My favorite venues in Buffalo are definitely Mohawk Place and Sugar City currently. The Waiting Room used to have some amazing shows, but that got shut down last summer, which is a massive bummer. There’s also a venue in my small hometown of East Aurora, called The Music Room which I played at countless times throughout high school and I owe everything to that place. If you’re ever rolling through the Buffalo area, definitely catch a show there.
Q: Your lyrics, specifically in "Part 2: The Reason I'm Grateful" let us into your personal world. Walk me through a bit of your song writing process and how the final product comes together.
A: Basically, I just kind of write about whatever’s haunting my mind at whatever time. As cheesy as it sounds, writing songs really is my therapy, I suppose. Just jotting down how I’m feeling in an interesting way feels like I’m practically taking all the stress I have and just letting it flow onto notebook paper and into a song. With Part 1 and Part 2, the reasons songs, basically, last summer, my longterm girlfriend broke up with me (for completely understandable reasons, there’s no hate there.) A few days after we broke up I was driving with one of my friends, and we passed my ex walking and holding hands with this new guy on the sidewalk, which became the inspiration for the song “The Reason I Hate Sidewalks,” which basically brought out the heartbroken teenage train-wreck in me. I moved to college last fall and that "new chapter" sense definitely helped me with the process of moving on. After a few months passed, I was still a bit sad about the whole thing, but it was a lot easier for me to see the bright side of things for the both of us. I didn’t want our entire relationship to be memorialized as this sad thing, where the only emotional importance belongs in the ending. So I wrote “The Reason I’m Grateful” which talks about how it’s still a sad situation, but I’m starting to feel better and happier about the future along with the good that will come to both of us through it.
Q: So far, what has been your favorite show that you've played?
A: My favorite show that I’ve ever played would probably have to be the show that really introduced me into the Buffalo scene. There’s an acoustic artist from Buffalo named Casey Bolles. I saw him play a show at Sugar City in July of 2016 and he became my favorite songwriter, pretty much. There’s a promoter from Buffalo, who lives in Nashville now, Anthony Carluccio. He sent me a message, saying Casey was starting a little DIY venue called “The People Zoo,” and asked if I wanted to play at the venue. Since I practically idolized Casey, this was like the opportunity of a lifetime for 17 year old me. The show was really fun. The headliner was a band called Young Culture. They were touring with a band called Shorebreak, both really good bands. The other opener was a band from Minnesota called Remo Drive. They played a fantastic set. The following year, they released an album called Greatest Hits. Now they’re signed to Epitaph, they're fucking huge, and they’re one of my favorite bands to jam to, so that’s tight.
Q: What city would you love to play in and why?
A: I haven’t really thought about that too much. I definitely want to play out of Buffalo because there are bigger scenes I want to tackle. I’ve heard really good things about Nashville and Philly, I think it would be really fun to play some shows in those areas. Also I’d love to play Chicago, just so I have an excuse to visit the American Football house. As of right now, I’m just looking to get out and tour wherever I can play. Getting out on the road and playing shows has been my biggest dream, and I’m excited to see what I can work out in the future!
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