The members of the Milk Blossoms — singer and ukulele player Harmony Rose, keyboardist Blair Larson and beatboxer and vocalist Michelle Rocqet — are coming off the release of Dry Heave the Heavenly, which dropped this spring. The band will be playing the Westword Music Showcase, Saturday, June 23.
“It’s kind of like getting married," says Rocqet, about releasing the album. "You plan for all of these months, and then it happens, and then it’s just a hard chill afterward. People have been really amazing about the record, and we’re very proud of it."
Recorded live at Youth on Record, Dry Heave the Heavenly is a soulful album that accomplishes what the best sophomore albums do: It builds upon the sound of the first record while bringing in new elements. In this case, the Milk Blossoms lean hard into the Agnes Obel-like eeriness that got them here in the first place while experimenting with the creative and recording processes.
“Recording live is sort of our wheelhouse. We tried to not record live, but that’s what we fell into. It’s how we feel most comfortable,” says Rose. “We were more accurately able to express what we were hearing in our heads this time around and better able to get the sound out in the recordings.”
The process involved methodical tinkering, testing out sounds to see what worked and what didn't. While meticulous, the experimentation was worth it.
"We struggled for a while. We spent a lot of time trying different techniques and doubling and equipment changes," says Larson. "It was a big challenge, and eventually we just did it with monitors as if it were a real show, which was the best thing."
The bandmembers' friendships are a joy to experience up close: having conversations about poorly made almond milk and the agonies of early mornings, teasing over Postmates orders, and sharing endless cups of coffee.
The band cherished the experience of recording in the studio.
"Unbound space is really difficult to find, physically and emotionally," says Rocqet. "It was really nice to have that with this record. We recorded our first album mostly in houses, and that was really amazing and fun, but there is some sort of subconscious restriction in neighborhoods and not being too loud, or not knowing if the house cat is going to end up in the recording."
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Along with being as loud as they pleased, not wearing any shoes, and what Rose described through a fit of laughter as "rolling around on the chairs," the Milk Blossoms found something that worked for them creatively. The only thing to do now is see where things lead next.
"We’ve already started writing new music, and we’ve also tried starting it in a new way, where it’s like it isn’t just that I bring the song and they bring these incredible beats and keys," says Rose. "We’re trying to do some things a little bit differently, which is hard, but we’re trying to write together a little bit.
"We’re also working on some music videos for this album," she continues. "I would love to get all those out soon at some point. We’re going to try to go on tour, just doing all the things that you do as a musician. Keeping up with everything. There’s a lot to keep up with."
The Milk Blossoms play the Westword Music Showcase on Saturday, June 23, in the Golden Triangle Neighborhood, westwordshowcase.com.