Review: The Starry Field, Back on the Milks

null     Image courtesy of The Starry Field

I was quite glad to see that Mark Myers’ The Starry Field not only still existed, but had released an official recording. Whilst many may consider The Starry Field a splinter from the formerly active The Middle East (I say this, as no band ever really breaks up), I have in my own collection a DIY recording of The Starry Field from 2007, obtained from a festival that featured the close-knit family of Townsville bands that consisted of The Starry Field, Sleeping in Trains, and The Middle East (all of which Myers was a member).
 
Elements of each collective can be heard throughout Back on the Milks, and with Myers wearing his front man cap, the album covers six years worth of candid, emotional, and honest song writing. On each listen, to me, this album has grown and matured, with the distinct components of The Starry Field sound evolving into something very comfortable and familiar. Myers’ voice at first seemed quite foreign to a city dweller like myself, but as each song took me on a journey from Cape Town, Tennant Creek, and Townsville, to Bellingen, Sydney, Holbrook, and across the Tasman, it was obvious that his voice and slang-tinged conversational lyric style is perfectly suited to such stories.

“From north & south, from city & country…”
– The Starry Field @ MySpace

An accurate description of the feel of this album. Part dirt and dust, part smog and steel, and unmistakingly Australian. The modesty and earthiness of Paul Kelly, the innocence of Darren Hanlon, the warmth of Angus and Julia Stone, and the ‘local voice’ of The Waifs and Missy Higgins. Mark Myers plants his feet firmly in the soil of his North Queensland home, but his alt-country roots spread further into moments of sparse electronic beats and sound scapes nestled within his acoustically driven story telling.

This album makes me want to travel, to see the country and the world, being wary of the challenges of the human relationship, and learning from the warnings of those who’ve come before. A real, raw collection of songs that reveal Mark Myers the man, and reflect a little something within ourselves.

Back on the Milks is available on iTunes now

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