Acclaimed Los Angeles duo The Milk Carton Kids have premiered a new song entitled “Secrets Of The Stars” via the Wall Street Journal. The track is from their forthcoming album Monterey out May 19th. It is The Milk Carton Kids’ third album and the follow-up to their 2013 critically acclaimed Anti- Records breakthrough The Ash & Clay.
The band wrote and recorded Monterey not in studios but on stages - those concert halls, churches, and theaters across North America that have always coaxed the band’s most uninhibited expressions. Their methodology in making Monterey allowed The Milk Carton Kids, finally, to perform for the record with the same fearlessness and spontaneity usually only achieved in live concert. Rolling Stone, which premiered the album’s title track, wrote: “the result is an album that captures a band literally on the run, with songs written and recorded in theaters, churches, buses, rock clubs and listening rooms across the country… conjuring up images of landscapes that loom on the horizon and eventually recede in the rearview mirror, replaced by a long, rolling scroll of blacktop.”
“‘Secrets of the Stars’ deals with those transcendent moments when, even if few and far between, we seem to experience something other than a merely physical existence," Joey Ryan explains. "The song references love, dreams, and near death experiences and uses the imagery and language of various of Haruki Murakami's novels. Whereas some songs are started and finished quickly, in a matter of minutes or a day, this one took months and was subject to significant revision along the way by both band members, and a crucial piece of musical input from our friend Sarah Jarosz.”
Listen to The Milk Carton Kids’ “Secrets Of The Stars” care of The Wall St. Journal: http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2015/04/21/milk-carton-kids-seek-transcendence-on-secrets-of-the-stars-exclusive-song/
Thematically, Monterey takes us on a road trip across a dream - perhaps a nightmare - through an America of blood and fire that is at once recognizably the land of our forefathers, and the product of our own making. While some of the questions asked on Monterey are political, increasingly the songs are purely personal, the narrator stopped along the road wondering aloud how he got there as in the lilting title track where the question becomes, “Monterey, how can I say I’ll always stay then slip away?”
This may be the central question of Monterey, this album forged literally and metaphorically “on the road”, which seems to ask how we can resolve the contradiction between the lightness of our footprint as we pass through, and the weight of those memories gathering behind us in the rearview mirror. Monterey asks these questions with grace, beauty and a sly humor.