Album Review: Milly – ‘Wish Goes On’

Posted: by The Editor

When Milly first released “Denial,” the second single from their second EP Wish Goes On, it felt like a revelation. Mid-tempo and sung barely above a whisper, “Denial” is hardly an imposing single. But its self-assured patience sells it as something more than it is; when the band kicks into overdrive for its last chorus, a moment teased by a fun if not flashy guitar solo, it sounds like the release of two minutes’ worth of tension all at once. That it follows the question, “Do you wish that you could come back here?” feels like an answer, too, like an acceptance. It’s the type of song that, while not necessarily redefining a genre or blazing a new path, is for three minutes a reminder of how moving a simple no-frills rock song can be at its best.

So expectations were, fairly, quite high for Wish Goes On. Admittedly, no other song reaches the heights of “Denial,” but in fairness no other song really sounds like “Denial.” The EP’s lead single, “Star Thistle Blossom,” is a far better touchstone for its other three tracks; crunchy, fuzzy, and grungy, “Star Thistle Blossom” retains the melody and the patience suggested by “Denial,” but blows them up to You’d Prefer an Astronaut sized proportions. “Teach Old Dogs New Tricks,” a bonafide space rock ripper if there ever was one, highlights the band’s knack for melody; while its hook may consist of little more than the song’s title repeated, it’s a surprisingly effective chorus. Imagine a good emo cover of “Today.”

Likely the closest Wish Goes On comes to replicating “Denial” is its five-minute finale “Birds Fly Free,” which recalls Clique if they’d ever written an epic ballad. The longest song in Milly’s (nine song) catalog, it’s probably the EP’s most dynamic moment, a wobbly quiet-loud-quiet burst of energy to bring things home. Along with “Denial,” it also likely represents Milly’s furthest foray out of their typical sound, exemplified by “Star Thistle Blossom.” It’s hard to imagine either fitting on Milly’s appropriately titled debut Our First Four Songs, as enjoyable as that EP might be. Wish Goes On is in every way a step forward for the band and a glimpse into Milly’s potential.

Disappointing / Average/ Good / Great/ Phenomenal

Zac Djamoos | @gr8whitebison

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