Key touchstones with the Americana duo...

There's always been something refreshingly natural about The Milk Carton Kids.

The duo craft folk-hewn Americana, with each song sounding uniquely organic, utterly hand-made.

Simple but devastatingly effective, the project's new album 'The Only Ones' carves out a fresh chapter for the duo.

Out on December 6th, it comes as the band complete a batch of Stateside dates referred to as: A Night with the Milk Carton Kids in Very Small Venues at Very Low Ticket Prices Tour.

With UK shows slotted in to their January schedule, The Milk Carton Kids are set to play a key part of our 2020 plans.

Clash caught up with the group to chat about their cultural touchstones...

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Book... 

The most recent book to really fuck with my head was Michael Pollan’s How To Change Your Mind, which is about the history, chemistry, and modern resurgence of psychedelics.

Pollan basically takes a bunch of drugs and proceeds to write the best-researched trip journal of all time. Plenty of seductive implications for evolution, philosophy of mind, counter-culture, and mental health.

Ayahuasca sounds terrible. Psilocybin, pretty great. 

TV Show...

Six Feet Under is still number one for me. I ugly cried like everyone else through the finale. It felt like I was losing a family member (or, all of them). Honestly I couldn’t even tell you what happens, plot-wise, even though I watched devotedly for all five seasons.

All I know is I loved the Fishers like real people, I cherished our time together, and I miss them dearly.

Film...

The entire Coen Brothers catalogue and also the Bourne trilogy (just the first three though, not the two extras which are bullshit and I’ve never even seen them). If any of these movies come on I will blow off everything else and watch them till they’re over.

Album...

Nina Simone’s 'Nina Simone and Piano!' album, which is just Nina playing piano and singing, was revelatory for me.

First of all, Nina is an insane piano player. Always so present and whimsical. But there’s a bunch of wrong notes on this album. She just hits keys on the piano she clearly didn’t mean to. At first I didn’t like it, but the performances are otherwise so intoxicating that I couldn’t stop listening.

After about a week, I listened to Jonathan King’s own original version of 'Everyone’s Gone To The Moon' which Nina covers on her album. I got so angry when the wrong piano note wasn’t there. I had fallen in love with the mistakes. The cracks are where the light gets in and all that. It’s been an important lesson for me in making our own music.

Gadget...

Capo and iPhone. They’re both miracles and our band could not exist without them.

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Catch The Milk Carton Kids at the following UK shows:

January
23 Brighton St. Bartholomew’s Church
24 Birmingham Town Hall
25 Bristol Thekla
27 Glasgow Celtic Connections
28 Leeds City Varieties Music Hall
29 Newcastle upon Tyne Tyne Theatre and Opera House

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