Milburn
The sounds that make the Sheffield band tick...

The past weeks have seen renewed debate about the so-called London bubble, the manner in which music critics seem to ignore what's happening in the rest of the country.

Truth be told, though, we can hardly ignore success - if a record pushes its way into the charts, then it's certainly visible for all to see.

Milburn are virtually impossible to ignore. Still a massive concert draw, the band played a 12,000 capacity hometown show in Sheffield last year.

New album 'Time', then, will no doubt find its way into many a record collection, and it finds the group pushing past their indie archetypes.

Absorbing elements of soul and psychedelia, it's the sound of Milburn attempting to challenge themselves, all while delighting an enormous army of fans.

Clash decided to find out exactly what was going down in the studio - here's the band's influences...

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William Bell - 'I Forgot To Be Your Lover'

It was only after 'Midnight Control' was written that we realised we'd taken a huge slice of inspiration from the chord progression in this song. I knew I'd heard it somewhere before (though I couldn't have told you the title or artist) and it must have nestled somewhere deep in my subconscious. I love how the notes sound like they're falling slowly down a flight of stairs (they do to me anyway) eventually landing into the verse.

The same thing happens in our song 'Midnight Control', albeit with a Strokes inspired guitar line over the top of the chords. 'Midnight Control' was the first song we wrote as a band in nearly a decade and proved to be a sort of blueprint from which the rest of the record was written. With that in mind, I'm pretty grateful for William Bell's 'I Forgot To Be Your Lover'.

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Booker T. and the M.G.'s - 'Time Is Tight'

After hearing a few early demos our manager commented that some of our new material had a Northern Soul quality. This is definitely the case on 'In The City'.

Obviously, Booker T is not considered a Northern Soul artist but 'Time Is Tight' has that feel to it. More specifically, we blatantly stole the idea of adding a second palm muted guitar which plays a harmony part on the second verse of 'In The City'. The whole album is also littered with Hammond organ, an obvious nod to Mr Booker T. himself.

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Echo & the Bunnymen - 'Nothing Lasts Forever'

About a month before we went into Parr Street for the first of the album sessions I became slightly obsessed with this song. To me, it sounds like the band wanted to make a proper anthem: a massive chorus, strings and a brilliant outro. I suppose it was the ambition of the song which inspired us the most along with the bitter sweet lyrics - "time's running out the door you're running in".

Hopefully, you can hear a lot of these qualities in our tune 'All the Love & Hate'. Personally, this is a really important track on the album as it shows that we're capable of much more than just the generic three minute indie guitar banger and that there's more to come. I should also mention the Bowie sounding acoustics on this track, which we achieved by detuning the guitars.

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The Strokes - '12:51'

Getting back together after such a long hiatus meant that we almost didn't know where to start. Each member had taken their musical taste in a different direction, while the old Milburn fans would no doubt want to hear more of the same. In all honesty, I think The Strokes solved this dilemma.

Of all the bands to do it I think The Strokes have 'done indie' better than anyone. Their music is predominately up tempo and guitar driven yet the parts are often complex without being self-indulgent. Essentially, they've shown that you can produce music in our genre without losing credibility.

All members of Milburn have a soft spot for the band so it seemed like a good place to start when reconvening. You can hear their influence not just in the synth like guitar sounds ('Midnight Control','Take Me Home' and 'Philistine') but in some of the vocal melodies too.

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The Coral - 'Grey Harpoon'

This may well make our producer (Bill Ryder-Jones) blush but we had to include this Coral song off of the 'Nightfreak and the Sons of Becker' album. It's basically five lads from the North-West of England trying to sound like Dr. Dre and it's brilliant.

We took a lot of inspiration from this when recording 'A.O.S.D.' and by making sure the drums and bass married, adding a slight delay to the lead guitar and throwing in a sparse Rhodes part we ended up with a bit of 'Yorkshire hip-hop' (a phrase which has surely never been uttered?!).

There's also a bit of a Gorillaz vibe on this song too as the choruses open into a more acoustic and dreamy affair which was directly influenced by 'Feel Good Inc'. The rest of it is us, I promise.

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'Time' will be released on September 29th.

For tickets to the latest Milburn shows click HERE.

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