Milia's images teem with a domestic Midwestern heaviness—a world of decaying suburban landscapes and the desperate hope still residing therein. A cast of waitresses, youth soccer coaches, grandparents, and young lovers occupy the ailing station wagons and birthday banquet halls in which the songs reside. Milia sings about real human beings in all of their glorious mundanity. Perhaps he is singing there alone, in St. Hugo, the Catholic grade school he attended from K-8. The way a selection of our memories will ring forever in some evacuated mental building, lights-out in endless night. But through it all, a wry sense of humor winks its way through the pathos, atop chord changes displaying a level of precision and classic craft uncommon to the habits of today's songwriters.
Alone at St. Hugo, the debut solo album by Matthew Milia, is due in 2019.