Marlana, from indie folk band Milo Greene, is strutting down a bassline of independence in her new single, “Midnight Special,” a collaboration with good pal Avid Dancer. The track, off her debut EP that drops in July, is a sultry groove that recounts a quest for some no-strings-attached intimacy. It’s a musical take on ‘Saturday night special’, an inexpensive gun that can be purchased for an up-to-no-good Saturday night and then thrown away.
Marlana has ridden the ultimate highs and lows. She’s braved the parking lot of an LA hospital, weighing a self-imposed stay in its psych ward while simultaneously channeling her circumstances into a song. From debilitating waves of anxiety, constant touring, keeping her longtime band Milo Greene afloat in a failing industry, to a volatile relationship with a close friend, and several deaths within her family (two of Marlana’s siblings passed away at the same tragic age: 33), Marlana has risen to life’s ceaseless challenges with a fearless sound.
“I started working hard on solo material after I had a complete mental breakdown,” she says. “I went home to my parents’ place in the Sierra Nevada mountains and wrote for a few weeks after my antidepressants kicked in and I started functioning again. For years in Milo, people kept telling me to go solo and it finally felt like the right time.”
The greatest lesson Marlana learned from writing and wrapping Milo Greene’s three LPs — especially 2018’s highly evolved Adult Contemporary album: liberation is born from pursuing an unfamiliar path laid with uncertainty.
The vital ingredient for any exceptional record is cohesiveness, the glue that holds any decent record together, and Marlana’s upcoming At Least I Tried EP succeeds in this. Oozing with untamed, raw swagger, the record’s tight-knit tracks dip into a range of genres without losing its center. “I’m Good,” epitomizes Marlena’s current headspace, radiating nuanced shades of darkness and light.
“It’s a song about depression, frustration, and pretending to be okay for the sake of everyone else around you,” explains Marlana. “After the death of my brother and sister, I changed. Those around me did too. People claim to like vulnerability, but in my experience, it just makes people uncomfortable. So I pretend that I’m fine even though I’m thinking about death 99-percent of the time.”
Marlana’s “Midnight Special” is now available for streaming on Spotify. Follow her journey on Instagram.