Milquetoast & Co. will debut an atmospheric rendition of the Moody Blues’ 1967 radio hit, “Nights in White Satin” on Friday, May 19. The song will be the second single off the band’s forthcoming album, Run Rant Rave. Photo: Anna Azarov. Click to enlarge.
The sextet experimented on “Nights in White Satin” while still honoring the original. Some changes include a different vocal note path and replacing a flute solo with the oboe. Photo: James McAndrew. Click to enlarge.
NEW SINGLE MIXED BY KEVIN RATTERMAN (MY MORNING JACKET, AFGHAN WHIGS, FLAMING LIPS)
— Celeb Mix
DENVER, COLORADO, UNITED STATES, May 9, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ — Milquetoast & Co. is set to release a new single – a sultry, atmospheric rendition of the Moody Blues’ 1967 radio staple, “Nights in White Satin” – that will be available via all major streaming platforms on Friday, May 19, 2023. The slyly psychedelic offering is blanketed with resonating melodies, moving chamber textures and swells, subtle infusions of acoustic and electric guitar, and uplifted with haunting, emotive vocals that give off a non-rushed, mellow feel before soaring into an epic finish.
LISTEN IN ADVANCE TO “NIGHTS IN WHITE SATIN” NOW.
“‘Nights in White Satin’ is especially dear to my heart. I fell in love with this song at a very young age, before I had any understanding of the lyrical message,” says Milquetoast & Co. singer, songwriter, guitarist, and producer, James McAndrew. “There is this sense of foreboding and longing for something just out of reach. It just hits my soul button. And, this song has seemed to show up in perfect moments throughout my life.”
Milquetoast & Co. experimented a little on “Nights in White Satin” while still honoring the original. “The classic is just a priceless piece. It really captured what I think they wanted it to. You could tell Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues really loved writing this,” says McAndrew. “So with this rendition, I wanted to fill out the song and give it an even larger feeling that I think it deserves while paying attention to the string swells. For some space, I chose a different (vocal) note path, and I laid low on the chorus until the very end. Also, we swapped out a flute solo for an oboe one, which is performed by Ashley Jarmack, who also plays the English horn and flute on the track.”
Comprised of mostly East Coast musicians — from Boston, New York, and New Jersey — Milquetoast & Co.’s music has drawn comparisons to Tom Waits, Morphine, Jeff Buckley, even a little DeVotchKa, among others. The Denver-based sextet’s eclectic sound — a blend of indie rock and pop, blues, and Americana — is brought to life by McAndrew’s passionate singing and wry, witty, sometimes melancholic storytelling; Dan Zangari’s bass lines; Kyle Bocchieri’s drum work; Joe Engel’s cello technique and rich tone; Ben Parrish’s guitar style; and the talented horn dexterity of Sam Oatts, who also handles the string arrangements for Milquetoast & Co. and co-produces alongside McAndrew.
Surrounding themselves with an accomplished engineering team, Milquetoast & Co. flew to California last year to record “Nights in White Satin” with producer/engineer Kevin Ratterman (My Morning Jacket, Afghan Whigs, Ray LaMontagne, Flaming Lips) and mastering engineer Nathan James.
“Kevin was kind enough to host the band at his historic house that was built in the 1970s, which sits on one-and-a-half acres of land just nine miles northeast of Los Angeles,” says McAndrew. “It’s beautiful. There are lemon groves around. His studio, which is separated by the garage, was a perfect space and setting to record.”
For the next nine days, Milquetoast & Co. recorded the Moody Blues cover as well as nine other songs at Ratterman’s studio, Invisible Island, for its forthcoming album, Run Rant Rave. Prior to the band’s trip to the West Coast, McAndrew and co-writer/bassist Zangari developed the meat and potatoes of the songs. “We put together song ideas so we could play what we have to the rest of the band, which is how we begin the creative process,” he explains. Collectively written by the two in three-months-time, the band demoed the entire album first in Denver.
“It made a big difference for the band to be together at Kevin’s L.A. studio every day. It was a wonderful bonding experience all around,” recalls McAndrew. Milquetoast & Co. brought in some additional musicians to broaden its musical palette on Run Rant Rave: “Grady Kinnoin plays the pedal steel and Brad Gardner the organ.” The singer also invited the Section Quartet, a renowned string quartet with two violinists, one viola player and one cellist whose sound leans more toward rock than traditional classical. “They played on half of the tracks on the new album, which is phenomenal,” he says. “They’ve worked with Beck, the Foo Fighters, and many top artists and producers.”
The band’s current lead single off Run Rant Rave, “Spinning,” dropped on March 24 along with an accompanying video. “The song speaks to the confusion that sets in through our early lives. Ultimately, some people evolve from those life experiences, and some people refuse to move forward,” explains McAndrew. “Sonically, the song counters the layered messages; I picture Don Quixote and Sancho Panza riding off into the sunset, forgetting what they made the trip for in the first place, yet at peace with the journey regardless.”
WATCH THE MUSIC VIDEO FOR “SPINNING” HERE.
The end result of the ten new tracks – both in instrumentation and in letras – is compelling.
Milquetoast & Co. will unveil Run Rant Rave in October, making the record available for public consumption.
About Milquetoast & Co. (MLQ):
MLQ is a Denver-based group that mingles high-intensity indie rock with angular elements of Americana and a melancholic touch. The music is abundantly self-aware and ironic without watering down the complexity of the human experience. Originally based in Boston, the band self-released two albums prior to parting ways for a myriad of reasons; at the end, it had walked its miles. Waiting for the time and circumstances to be right, founder and frontman James McAndrew re-established the band in 2019 with a fully re-formed lineup in Denver. Milquetoast & Co picked up where the love affair left off with the band members: Co-Writer with McAndrew, Dan Zangari, Kyle Bocchieri, Joe Engel, and Ben Parrish. Milquetoast & Co. has also been blessed to have Sam Oatts as its ace up its sleeve; co-producing and heading both the horn and string arrangements. In 2021, MLQ released Shiny (little) Mind, a well-received ten-track album that drew on elements of rock, jazz, folk and Americana.
The band’s current lead single off the forthcoming album Run Rant Rave, “Spinning,” was released at the end of March along with an accompanying video.