Spilt Milk
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Spilt Milk

Spokane, Washington, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2022

Spokane, Washington, United States
Established on Jan, 2022
Band Americana Rock




"Spokane band isn’t crying over Spilt Milk: New EP is bright, thoughtful"

The high school band is a well-worn cliché, and Spilt Milk fit right into it. The five-piece group got their start at Mount Spokane High, adding members as they moved into college and deeper into their music careers.

But don’t be fooled by their humble beginnings because with their latest EP, “See You Around,” they’ve proven that they’re well beyond the sound of “high school.”

“I knew Sam (McQuarrie) played the bass,” guitarist Landon Spencer said of the group’s beginnings. “I just told him one day that he was going to be in a band.

“And I found out later that he hadn’t really started learning how to play the bass yet. So, we all just kind of learned through playing in the old jam band setting.”

A lack of deep musical experience in their earlier years had an unexpected creative consequence: It made imitating the group’s favorite bands more difficult than just working out their own sound.

“We all have this kind of intermingling common influences, like Creedence Clearwater Revival and Nathaniel Rateliff,” keyboardist Ian McTamaney said. “But we all come from extremely different musical backgrounds.”

Figuring out how to unite those musical backgrounds, though, was far from a glamorous experience. “Hanging a microphone from the ceiling and wrapping it in two sweatshirts to record drum parts didn’t feel like what a real band would do,” McQuarrie said.

“We spent probably three weeks making this just horrible, horrible sounding recording of a song that we don’t even play anymore,” Spencer said.

A lot has changed since those early days. Spilt Milk have put the sweater-wrapped mic and basement recording sessions in the rear-view mirror and broken onto the scene.

The years of practice have paid off, and the jam band aesthetic is now supplemented by a constructive and collaborative writing process.

Spilt Milk’s first major effort, the EP “See You Around,” was released a few weeks ago. It’s a bright four tracks with a great deal of sonic diversity, folksy overtones and clever lyrics.

The title track, “See You Around,” recounts “an awkward conversation with someone you haven’t seen in a really long time just realizing that we have nothing to talk about,” a situation no small number will encounter as the pandemic continues to taper off.

It establishes the buoyant and romping beat that drives most of their songs. “I feel like a lot of the music from the EP is reflective of where we all are in life,” singer Cailin Spencer said (the Spencers are siblings).

“Which is that weird in-between, early 20s stage where it’s like you have no idea what you’re doing, and everything’s changing really fast.”

The lyrics broadly talk of futures to be minded, others to be ignored, at least until the moment comes. As the band puts it in “Shoulder,” “don’t you sit there / with the weight of the world on your shoulders.”

In the delicate handling of sound and volume, “Shoulder” is the EP’s outbreath, its moment of release. The group’s lyric writing drives the song, and the soft acoustic guitar line contrasts starkly with the surges of synth and Cailin Spencer’s vocals.

The whole EP is polished just so, in part due to the band’s openness to learning as they went into the studio – Seattle’s London Bridge – for the first time.

“What sounds good on a record versus on a stage” is different, McQuarrie said. The EP “turned out probably as well as it possibly could have. Making our first EP was more of a learning experience than a creative experience.”

“In the movies, you always see the band plays one time, they’re like, ‘that’s the take, we got it,’ ” drummer James Ott said. “In actuality, a lot more goes into it than I initially thought, so that was kind of eye-opening.”

With their first sessions under their belt, excitement is high for their next project, which they have already begun to record. The addition of McTamaney in the past year will stir things up going forward, especially as live music becomes a more realistic prospect.

The music means a lot to these five young adults, but not just for its own sake. Spilt Milk has used and will continue to use their power as performing artists to help benefit the Jonah Project, a local charity that fights human trafficking.

Whether it is performing for the Jonah Project or at one of many local bars and stages, Spilt Milk is intent on delivering vivacious, Spokane music to the whole world ’round. Looking back, it’s crazy what can happen in high school.

Julien A. Luebbers can be reached at julienluebbers@gmail.com. - The Spokesman-Review

"Spilt Milk to preview new songs at Lucky You Lounge"

Spilt Milk is graduating from local band status to hitting the road for festivals and more. The Mead-based band, which will make its debut as a Lucky You Lounge headliner Friday, will preview tracks from its forthcoming album, which will drop in 2022.

Expect an amalgam of blues-rock and folk. “We have an album coming out with eight songs that we’re excited about,” guitarist Landon Spencer said. “It’s been difficult with all that we’ve been through with the pandemic, but we’re ready to take the next step.”

The band’s latest single, “Supernova,” is a catchy, polished tune. It all started for Spilt Milk four years ago when Spencer was a junior at Mead High School. “I took a year of guitar lessons when I was in the fifth grade, but I really learned how to play guitar while I was in the high school jazz band,” Spencer said.

“I started putting things together.” Classic rock inspired Spencer, who is a Whitworth junior majoring in history and social studies. “Tom Petty has been my favorite for a long time,” Spencer said. “I love his album ‘Wildflowers.’ “

Spencer is also into alt-Americana artists such as Dawes and Jason Isbell. “When it comes to guitarists, Isbell is so underrated,” Spencer said. “I love what he does, and the same goes for Mike Campbell and Eric Clapton.”

Spencer is just part of the sonic attack. Each member of Spilt Milk, which also includes Spencer’s sister, vocalist Cailin Spencer, bassist Samuel McQuarrie, drummer James Ott and keyboardist Ian McTamaney, contributes. Expect Spilt Milk to also perform a number of cuts from its initial EP, “See You Around” at Lucky You.

“We can’t wait to play large venues like the Lucky You,” Spencer said. “We’re just trying to build on this and take the next step.” - The Spokesman-Review

"Don’t cry over Spilt Milk"

To the untrained eye, Spilt Milk may seem like your typical folk-rock garage band. Their lead single, “See You Around,” debuting April 8 on their SoundCloud, seems to certify this, but I would implore listeners to look a bit deeper.

The “About” section of the band’s website includes a fascinating paragraph detailing their creation, inspirations, and aspirations. In between name-drops of artists such as Tom Petty and Creedence Clearwater Revival and backgrounds of the bandmates lies a single crucial sentence: "[Spilt Milk] represent[s] the fire that still burns in the genre that has made countless timeless tracks and create enjoyable music for the ages.”

“A lot of those bands listed are really good at eliciting a feeling or … really moving you like on a deeper level, which is something like we really try to emulate in our music,” UW undergraduate and drummer James Ott said.

Spilt Milk is a Washington-based group consisting of Ott, lead guitarist and singer Landon Spencer, vocalist Cailin Spencer, pianist Ian McTamaney, and bassist Sam McQuarrie. While “See You Around” marks their first official release as a group, the band has been making music for years now, dating back to high school.

“We started back in [our] junior year of high school,” Spencer said. “We … were just a jam band originally. Then we decided we wanted some T-shirts, so we ordered some shirts, started selling them, and then got to a point where it was a little awkward, not having played any shows yet or anything. We had sold like 50 T-shirts to people and it was like, ‘Shoot, we better start writing music for people to hear.’”

Despite the band’s inception sounding like a somewhat reluctant act stemming from an anticipation-based merchandise scheme, Spilt Milk is no joke. “See You Around” is a genuinely impressive track that excellently combines each band member’s talent and musical background. - DailyUW.com


See You Around (EP) Spring 2021
Supernova (Single) 2021



Spilt Milk pours onto the scene, punching above their weight class as they innovate and find their footing in the modern music landscape. Landon Spencer’s fantastic storytelling leaves a lot up to interpretation, playing with ideas from reactor meltdowns to paranoid conspiracy theorists. Cailin Spencer runs up the vocals on tracks like Supernova while Samuel McQuarrie (Bass), James Ott (Drums), and Ian McTamaney (Keys) set the foundations for the singers to tell their tales. The band grew up together, both through the ages and with instrumental abilities, leading to a close knit group that channels their influences of Dawes, Tom Petty, and Nathaniel Rateliff. Spilt Milk is ready to show up, set the stage, and rock the crowd.

Band Members