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Tuesday, June 25
The Indiana Daily Student

arts music

New album 'Front Matter' combines local artist Millaze’s love of music and books


Millaze, a piano dreamhop artist, released her latest album, “Front Matter,” on March 18. The album release show will be at 10:45 p.m. on March 26 at The Bishop Bar. 

“Front Matter,” the third album in a deconstructed book series, has 13 songs named after different pieces of the front matter, or pages before the main text of a book. While her last album was nautically inspired, Front Matter is factory-inspired. The two earlier albums were “Carnegie Stacks,” which outlines the experience of walking into a library, and “A Note on the Author,” detailing what it would be like to open a book and read the note on the author section. 

“This whole concept just comes out of my love for libraries and books and reading and the tangible writing,” Millaze said.

She said she loves to look for at least one song on an album that seems to stop time. She’s influenced by the idea that humans are drawn to a dark place of beautiful sadness, she said. 

Millaze said she’s excited about this album because it’s her first one with a full band sound instead of only beats. This album is also in the industrial rock genre, providing sounds from factories. Since she grew up around woodshops and carpentry, making these sounds is nostalgic for her. 

Millaze began to fund Music Industry Connected, a music consulting company, in 2013. MIC, an international company, offers intern classes and runs experiments on music careers. The company helps artists with their music careers by offering a manual on how to complete the business side of a music career.

“I was lucky that I was raised in a household where it was so acceptable to go after something strange and think creatively and believe in music and art,” Millaze said. “I want to keep bringing that to other people who don't come from that kind of background.”

Millaze said she uses music in her sublimation of feelings into artwork. Music makes Millaze feel grounded, she said, and is a survival mechanism for her through her dissociation due to PTSD.

In the album's intro and outro songs, “Half-Title Page” and “For Little Girl who knows why or should,” Millaze included her experimental beatmaking and samples of sounds. She said she made it feel like the listener is in a factory or woodshop but with an ethereal feeling. 

Spencer Sherman, who prefers to be known as his musical alias, Spence Cat Bailey, is an alt pop artist. He said Millaze introduced herself to him at a performance of his in 2018, and he has helped her find performance opportunities since then.

Spence Cat Bailey said his first impression of Millaze was that she was someone powerful and confident in herself. He said she does well at balancing a contemporary sound while sticking to her personal musical inclinations.

“She walks a nice tightrope of good balance between being powerful, but also a very warm person,” Spence Cat Bailey said.

Hunter Nico McKenzie, founder of Handmade Audio, met Millaze during an open mic night at Blockhouse Bar years ago. He will be the supporting guitarist at her album release show.  

McKenzie has served as an audio consultant on one of Millaze’s records and a mixing engineer on one of her songs. They’ve been collaborating with music ideas for years, and McKenzie said he’s thankful for Millaze changing the way he thought about the music business by helping him learn to market his music.

“If people enjoy storytelling, I think they'll enjoy the show,” McKenzie said. 

Doors open at 10 p.m and admission will cost $8. Attendees are required to be ages 21 or older and vaccinated against COVID-19. Costa Rica and Bloomington fusion band, Matixando, will also perform.

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