The members of The Milk Blossoms take turns when they talk: As the conversation circles the table, each musician makes space for the next one to speak. Five minutes into this exchange, it’s clear that Michelle Rocqet, Harmony Rose and Brent Larson are not only bandmates, they’re friends. Good friends: They're considerate, kind and outwardly admiring of each other as both individuals and artists.
These traits come across in the Milk Blossoms, too, as the members make music in a way that's just as acommodating as their conversation. Keyboards, ukulele, vocals and the act's not-so-secret weapon — Rocqet’s beatboxing — are layered in calculated arrangements. Each instrument gets a chance to be heard individually, but it’s when the sounds cross paths in a composition that the magic really happens. “Because we're such separate entities that have to work equally and together, I think it's reflected in how our songs are written,” says Rocqet. The three soft-spoken introverts merge and become one powerful entity, creating a unique combination of hip-hop, dark melodic pop and folk with a twinge of anarchy.
This band came to be like so many acts of a similar DIY caliber: within the safe space of a living room inside a house that doubled as a venue. Rocqet and Rose grew up in Durango, where they both sang in the school choir; when they reconnected as adults in Denver in 2010, it was first as roommates. “I always wanted to play music, but it didn’t really come together until Michelle moved in,” remembers Rose. Living together in a collective that threw house shows, the singers pieced together their first song on a small, battery-operated Casio keyboard – and an initial incarnation of the Milk Blossoms – then known as Architect — was born.
“When it was just the two of us, we played our first show at the house. We were pretty raw back then – singing and banging on chair legs and kind of just figuring things out,” recalls Rocqet.
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“At the time, it was a very welcoming environment for anybody to come play,” adds Rose. “I saw a lot of people who are fiery gems in bands right now just play back then in our back yard by themselves. Anything went, really. It was like, 'Oh, maybe we should try to play, too! That was our start.”
After Rocqet crossed paths with Larson at school and was moved by his solo recordings, he added his keyboards to the group in 2012, and the group continued to grow – and change. Architect was great – it was very masculine energy that I would give out,” says Rose.
“It felt like a structure — phonetically, Architect was like a scaffolding,” continues Rocqet. “It was hard to develop an identity within that for some reason. It felt bare and I think we were bare and didn't want to be that way anymore.” A friend casually suggested the group change its moniker to the Milk Blossoms, and the name stuck.
For the last three years, the band has been playing shows and slowly – and very deliberately — working on its first record. That album, Worrier, comes out on local cassette tape-centric label Tinyamp Records this Thursday, November 5; the Milk Blossoms will celebrate with a release show at 9 p.m. at Syntax Physic Opera, performing alongside Bianca Mikahn and Zac Greenberg ($5 suggested donation). For more information about the band, find the Milk Blossoms on Facebook.