We’re only a few weeks into the new year and I’ve already discovered my favourite new band for 2013. Named The Milk Carton Kids and formed by artists Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan in 2011, this folk band from Eagle Rock, California has quickly stolen my heart and rendered me obsessed with their sound that has been described as “Gillian Welch and David Rawlings-meets-Simon and Garfunkle with a splash of the Everly Brothers.”
Both Pattengale and Ryan experienced rather unsuccessful solo careers before joining together and realizing their talent and potential as a duo. In 2011, they released their first album together titled “Retrospect,” and in 2012, released “Prologue” under their now established stage name The Milk Carton Kids.
After performing at SXSW in 2011, the duo brought their music on tour with notable artists including Joe Purdy, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Punch Brothers, and The Lumineers; and while their perfect harmonies and use of vintage guitars are what charm me the most, artist/producer Joe Henry best describes their beauty as a duo in his foreward to the album “Prologue.”
“The Milk Carton Kids: I listen and, try as I might, forget to hear them as distinct collaborators in song and story. Instead, they move to become a single, shadowy persona within the frame of Prologue… their songwriting and stringwork wind around each other.”
As if they aren’t amazing enough, The Milk Carton Kids have long allowed their two albums to be available as free downloads on their website here. If you would like a preview first, take a listen to some of their best tracks below and prepare yourself to be taken straight back to some of the better folk years.
The Milk Carton Kids – Undress the World
The Milk Carton Kids – New York
The Milk Carton Kids – Michigan
The Milk Carton Kids – Milk Carton Kid
The Bonus Track: To truly get a sense of The Milk Carton Kids’ quirky style and to better appreciate how their talents blend together so naturally, watch the video of them performing “New York” below.