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Completing their seventh studio album was a hard-won victory for The Milk Carton Kids, but I Only See the Moon was worth the effort for Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan. “It feels like returning to something that’s natural and comfortable, and also just as inspiring and new as when we first met,” says Pattengale, who formed The Milk Carton Kids with Ryan in 2011.
What started as a three-week recording session in the fall of 2021, with Pattengale producing the contemporary folk duo himself for the first time, stretched into a monthslong project that found the pair digging deeper into their craft than ever before. With a new studio of their own in Los Angeles and the realization that they were in no hurry, The Milk Carton Kids took the time they needed to be fully satisfied with I Only See the Moon.
“I haven’t been as happy with the collection of songs that we’ve put on record probably since our first record, and it’s because of a lot of the lessons we’ve learned over the years, including giving yourself time and space,” Ryan says.The three-time Grammy nominees sound refreshed on 10 new songs distilled to the essence of The Milk Carton Kids: two voices blended together in spellbinding harmony, accompanied by subtly perfect acoustic instrumentation. Turns out that’s a tough sound to get just right, but I Only See the Moon shows just how much Pattengale and Ryan were willing to work for it.