Harrisonburg, Virginia band Venus Milo released their debut album Thanks & Apologies on December 2nd, 2016. Self-proclaimed as moody indie rock and post-pop, they most certainly live up to such expectations.
The genesis of Venus Milo actually began in December of 2015. When the band formed, despite them coming from different musical backgrounds, they wanted the songwriting process to always be very collaborative. Venus Milo wanted everyone's ideas and perspectives to be heard. The group was originally called Travellers and played indie-folk rock songs, but after a little dosage of life the band was reworked into the band we know today as Venus Milo.
Guitarist and vocalist Brendan Callan explains, “when we played out each other’s individual ideas for songs, after hearing Kian, Nick, or Ben’s lyrics I found solace by the fact that the people standing right next to me were going through similar struggles as I was. This was very therapeutic for me. We were unified through the music we were playing and the lyrics we were singing and did not necessarily have to talk to each other to feel comforted by each other.”
Brendan also went on to say that Nick Anguian [drummer] was a HUGE reason they found a cohesive sound as a band.
“He really helped us iron out our songs to realistically analyze what worked and what could be taken out and used for another song. His disciplined and well-crafted perspective on songwriting is what really helped Kian, Ben, and myself work harder at writing better songs. His perspective as a drummer also helped his role of unifying us as a band because he was able to control the feel of a song by playing what he felt was best and also analyzing what he knew everyone else would enjoy as well,” Brendan states.
As for Thanks & Apologies, I am feeling it all around. Themes of self-learning, heartache, and mourning are spoken through powerful vocals with casual psychedelic sounds backing it. I am drawn by the light-hearted guitars and pop melodies that have me head nodding and foot tapping; but the heartfelt and incredibly genuine lyrics are what really grabs my attention throughout my first, second, third, and fourth listens. These songs make me feel like I am dressed in sweatpants and a t-shirt at a formal event without feeling the least bit out of place.
The goofiness of Brendan’s persona shows through his lyrics as he starts “Rockstar” with “1,2,3,8! / Am I real or am I a meme?” However, there is much more depth than just memes. The blend of light hearted ideas and heavy concepts is both refreshing and relatable.
The greatest thing about this album is that I can see the growth of the band in the lyrical content and the music. I cannot wait to see what they do next.