The new project marks the first time that acoustic duo Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale have brought a band into studio with them. Though the duo set out to do something different, their ethereal, oscillating harmonies remain. The acoustic guitars that track with and away from their voices are still present on nearly every song. The new record even calls out Omaha and Ohio, in the tradition of earlier tracks like “Memphis” and “Michigan.”
But it’s not just the addition of the band here that creates something new. Since their last studio album, “Monterey” (ANTI- 2015), life has changed dramatically for The Milk Carton Kids. Pattengale is producing records in Nashville. Ryan is now the father of two children and works as a producer on “Live from Here with Chris Thile,” the reboot of “A Prairie Home Companion.” A break from years of non-stop touring, Ryan says, has given both of them “space outside of the band that gives us perspective on what the band is.