Sign of the Pine

The Millenium strips down tunes for new release

Alex Tronson, photos by Andrea Paulseth

THOUSAND-YEAR STARES. The boys from local pop-rock outfit The Millenium are releasing a new album (with accompanying videos) called Pine Hollow Sessions, named after the local recording studio.
THOUSAND-YEAR STARES. The boys from local pop-rock outfit The Millenium are
releasing a new album (with accompanying videos) called Pine Hollow Sessions,
named after the local recording studio.

It seems to me that there’s always something curious happening behind the doors of Pine Hollow Studios. It’s a hot spot for local musicians to experiment with new sounds, creative ideas, and work with other artists in the area. For the guys in the Eau Claire-based pop-rock band The Millenium, it’s the birthplace of a fresh new project, appropriately named The Pine Hollow Sessions.

Though the album mostly consists of previously recorded songs, fans of The Millenium might be in for a bit of a surprise when first diving into the new record. It sounds a bit different then the traditional harsh electric guitar strums and frantic punk-rock drum patterns the genre is accustomed to. The Pine Hollow Sessions has the guys playing more subdued and stripped-down versions of the newly repurposed tracks from their debut EP It’s So Much Friendlier With Two.

There’s a new emphasis on instrumentation as well. This development had The Millenium fellas taking on a few (local) helping hands in the studio. Kyle Culver, who plays guitar in the band, wanted to make sure the new music retained some of that Eau Claire flavor.

“I’m perpetually amazed at the talent this town has, and the fact that we were able to bring so many different musicians in with different talents and genre tastes, that was cool,” he said. “It was refreshing. And after being on the road since August, playing these songs over and over again, it was creatively challenging to differ them and still make them feel alive. These versions sound like the distant memory of It’s So Much Friendlier With Two.”

Be prepared to hear shimmering acoustic guitar, lush orchestral strings, piano, and more, while never losing track of The Millenium’s core sound.

It’s not just a new album, however: There’s a bit more to The Pine Hollow Sessions including a video component, which the band describes on its blog: “The project was huge. Not only did we want to put out these songs, but we also felt it was important to combine them with a video release of us preforming the tracks consistent with the session style of the project’s name. Each track had taken on such a feeling of emotion and sheer passion that it almost felt necessary to experience the session thoroughly; we wanted people to be in the room with us while the music was created.”

On March 4 Pine Hollow Sessions will be officially released for free digital download on the band’s Bandcamp page. It will also be available on other digital platforms including Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play. The guys also mentioned they were doing a small press of the CD edition – limited to only 100-200 copies – which you can purchase from their online store or at select tour dates. Along with all this, a full 20-minute video of the entire session will be available along with the record.

Check out the new album preformed live, with all the local musicians who contributed, at 7pm March 4 at the release party, hosted at the Volume One Gallery, 205 N. Dewey St., Eau Claire.

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