A somber tone in the foreground, a growing pestilence of utter silence in the backdrop. There are two sides to every coin, and in the new single “Hummingbirds,” Milquetoast & Co. look to straddle the thing line between the light and dark sides of subtle pop songwriting with a swagger that has become a bit of a signature within their sound. There aren’t any bells and whistles serving as an intro here, and the track features no swanky guest appearances from genre-bending performers of a similar caliber. “Hummingbirds” is a celebration of insularity, in all of its grizzly glory.
While I can’t put my finger on it exactly, there’s something very menacing about the way the vocal creeps into focus as we get lost in the string-driven harmonies of the instrumentation here. There’s nothing overtly threatening about the lyric, nor the actual tone in which it’s being given to us; it’s a combination of the tempo, the texture of the melody in the background and the hesitant execution of our singer, who is in complete control of the narrative in this song at all times. There is nothing holding this piece together but a faint continuity that exists because of these players’ shared love for the medium, and it is when we realize this that we can start to enjoy “Hummingbirds” for the endearing work of unguarded expression it undeniably is.
Milquetoast & Co. have a career that any act would be proud of, but those who had deluded themselves into thinking that it was coming to an end sooner than later are going to be quite surprised by the lofty ambitiousness of this brand new release. “Hummingbirds” doesn’t take a stab in the dark so much as it emerges from the shadows desperate for us to read into its true meaning, and when you add in the natural talent of the performers, this becomes a phenomenally engaging spin no listener should miss out on.
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