In order to complete their debut album, Charlottetown indie rockers Milks & Rectangles had to navigate a musical long-distance relationship. Guitarist and organist Justin Uyterlinde, who grew up on a farm, was training to become a large animal veterinarian. Bassist Brandon Williams was fulfilling his dream of joining the Coast Guard, studying in Cape Breton before working a ship. Meanwhile, vocalist and guitarist Christian Ledwell lived between Halifax and PEI.
"It was a bit of a challenge at times," says Ledwell, "being in different cities, and with one member at sea. A lot of emailing back and forth." The band weathered the difficulties, though, and music provided relief from demanding studies and day jobs---"something to look forward to at the end of the day," says Ledwell. Their shiny new full-length (available for pay-what-you-can from milksandrectangles.com) was released Monday. The self-titled recording follows three well-reviewed and Music PEI Award-nominated EPs. Ledwell sees a progression leading up to the band's current release: "I think the new stuff has a bit more range and is more dynamic."
Ledwell is a longtime fan of Halifax music. "The Museum Pieces were a band I really loved and looked up to," he says. There's also the influence of his brother Daniel, of In-Flight Safety, who produced Milks & Rectangles. "We're both workaholics," Ledwell says. "He's got such a good ear, and really good ideas."
When it comes to his own songwriting ideas, Ledwell has a soft spot for wordplay, as evidenced in song titles like "Hospital Patience," "Loose Hips Sink Ships" and "Bad Czech." Ledwell says another PEI band he plays in, Boxer the Horse, "gives me a hard time because I'm a sucker for dual meanings. I like writing down things I find funny...I hope it isn't too corny."
Although Ledwell enjoys paying attention to lyrics, they're only one ingredient in pop perfection. "I'm a really big fan of Beck, and I've heard him talk about how lyrics are both the least and most important thing. The music should stand alone."
Milks & Rectangles album release show w/Boxer The Horse, Nap Eyes Friday June 8 at The Khyber, 1588 Barrington
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