The Milling Gowns began in the bedroom of lead singer M.
After years of singing in Punk, Post-Punk and Shoegaze bands that rarely left town, M. left his small hometown on the seacoast of New Hampshire for the city of Boston and set out to join a band.
In 2006 he decided to just make music on his own, adopting the name The Milling Gowns. One day he met pianist Sharon Crumrine who agreed to play on a few of his songs. The sessions worked out well and they decided to continue working together and form a band. With the addition of drummer Jeffrey Scott Mays and bassist John Stazinski they began playing shows around Boston and in 2007, recorded an EP titled “Light Of The World Shine On Me”. Produced by Perry Geyer (of the 80’s Nettwerk band Manufacture) and self released.
Soon after the EP was released, Stazinski was replaced by Sam Spencer who was the bass player in a couple other bands with Mays. During this period The Milling Gowns were often joined on stage by Betty Widerski a violin/viola player who had been a longtime member of an Irish-Punk band The Gobshites. Eventually Widerski became a full-time member of the band.
When The Milling Gowns decided to record a full length album Spencer and Mays left the band, unable to commit to three bands. Instead of replacing drums and bass The Milling Gowns decided to enlist the help of their many musician friends as guests on the record, but ultimately finding a new drummer, Allen Esser, who had played in many Boston bands including The Glass Set.
In 2008 The Milling Gowns released “Diving Bell Shallows” a lush orchestral album full of Gloom-Pop and Post-Punk influence. Featuring string orchestras, choirs, harp, oboe as well as guitar feedback, loops, samples, and experimental noise. Reviewers of the album often cited Joy Division, Tindersticks, Morrissey and Cocteau Twins as obvious influences, remarking on M.’s deep baritone and touching emotional lyrics.
In support of “Diving Bell Shallows”, The Milling Gowns played diverse types of shows, both with a full band and acoustic shows with only piano, viola and voice. They played rock clubs, and art spaces alike. Eventually needing a permanent bass player. M. contacted an old friend, Stoops who joined the band.
In 2009, guitar was added to the sound of The Milling Gowns. The new songs M. was writing began to move away from the piano and strings sound of “Diving Bell Shallows”. After a mini tour in support of Australian band The Boy Who Spoke Clouds, Crumrine and Widerski left the band to pursue a different musical direction.
M., Allen and Stoops began to look for a guitarist. M. asked a friend, Christy Romanick, an ambient guitarist and photographer, if she knew anyone who would be a good fit for The Milling Gowns. She suggested Kevin Heinold who joined in 2010. The sound of The Milling Gowns has transformed into a much louder brand of Gloom-Pop, The haunted Post-Punk, and the dreamy Shoegaze.
The Milling Gowns are currently in the studio recording a new ep called “Something Dangerous Loves Me”
The Milling Gowns
Edited by sweetfreeze2 on 1 Sep 2010, 15:54
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