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The Ash & Clay

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iTunes Review

Under the banner of The Milk Carton Kids, Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan make the most of the maxim “less is more.” The Milk Carton Kids perform and record with just two voices and two acoustic guitars; nothing on The Ash & Clay couldn’t be reproduced identically onstage. Even making the leap from releasing their own albums to recording for a high-profile, major-distribution label like Anti Records couldn’t sway the Kids from their minimalist path. Thank God for that, because there’s something special that happens when Pattengale and Ryan’s gentle voices curl around each other in homespun harmony and their guitar lines intertwine as if emerging from one instrument played by four hands. While “Honey, Honey” revolves around some fast-paced folkie fingerpicking and “Heaven” is fueled by peppy, country-flavored guitar licks, Pattengale and Ryan are confident enough in their approach to avoid the temptation to “rock out,” even in relative terms. The Ash & Clay offers a bounty of unabashedly beautiful, contemplative tunes delivered with little ado but an abundance of grace.

Customer Reviews

Turn the volume down

The folk revival going on a right now is full of big choruses, sing-alongs, fast strummers, and foot-stomping rhythms. Bands like Mumford and Sons and the Lumineers have made the acoustic brand into one that is exciting, catchy, and polished. But in a such a way, their music lacks much of the heartfelt approach of the folk groups of the past.

Then the Milk Carton Kids release The Ash and Clay in the middle of March and remind us how folk music is supposed to be like. The Ash and Clay is subdued, quiet, and emotive record full of lyrical growth, harmony, and stellar musicianship. The Milk Carton Kids have moments when they have something important to say but they wear it right on their sleeve instead of drowning in another wildly-strummed, banjo-fueled "epic." The result is not only beautiful . . . but mind-blowing.

I cannot get enough of The Ash and Clay. It is not because you sing along. It is not because you find yourself stomping your feet. And it is not because you want to fist-pump to some awesome chorus. It is what it is because it doesn't provide all those things. It is a record that demands listens and quiet, introspective ones at that. The Milk Carton Kids create an environment as serene as the grassy field on the album cover and allow you to live in it.

The record is not as exciting on the surface as the popular folk movement and lacks material for the charts. But, what it provides is something that cannot be measured by sales or chart position.

Such Beautiful Talent

Go see them live at an intimate venue. Absolutely amazing. Side bonus... they're comedians in between songs.

Great Album!

This is a great new album by The Milk Carton Kids. Pre-Order It!


Formed: 2011 in Eagle Rock, CA

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '10s

The Milk Carton Kids are a contemporary folk duo from Los Angeles, California. Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan formed the group in early 2011, shelving their solo careers in favor of a collaborative project that focused on harmonized vocals, entwined acoustic guitars, and rootsy songwriting. From the very beginning, the Milk Carton Kids worked fast, releasing a live album (Retrospect) in March 2011 and returning three months later with their full-length studio debut, Prologue. Both recordings were...
Full Bio
The Ash & Clay, The Milk Carton Kids
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Customer Ratings