Milk Carton Kids
(Los Angeles, CA )
When you hear the Milk Carton Kids for the first time; you’ll be excused if you glance at your smartphone to check the year. No it’s not 1965 or ’75. It’s just that the Kids’ music is soaked in influence of classic harmonizing duos (think Everly Brothers and Simon and Garfunkel), evoking an inherent sense of nostalgia. They may be from L.A. but there’s nothing slick about them, just two guitars accompanying twin voices that disappear into one.
Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale strip their songs down to a deceptive simplicity, rooted in intricate guitar picking arrangements, intuitive harmonies and soulful, sometimes heartbreaking lyrics. The two also share a love of dry wry wit and deadpan humour which they sprinkle throughout their shows.
A chance meeting in 2011 ended their solo careers and shaped a group that resonated instantly with folk, roots and Americana audiences. Within 12 months their songs graced the soundtrack of the Gus Van Sant’s film Promised Land while their reputation and popularity grew as their toured as headliners and with kd lang, the Punch Brothers and Old Crow Medicine Show. The Milk Carton Kids have emerged as a powerful voice helping to define the evolving folk tradition, to the delight of both traditionalists and newcomers to the folk movement.