Since releasing its excellent debut, Suha, in 2014, Ladders has kept busy while staying (relatively) quiet. The band’s delicate instrumentation and the soft, soothing melodies employed on that first full-length and last year’s Saye Lonnie aren’t likely to make the band stand out more than many of its flashier, louder, and more experimental Milwaukee music counterparts. However, the tried and true combination warm guitar tones, light rhythmic backing, and Daniel Mitchell’s lush vocals is one listeners can (and should) come back to time after time.
Ladders’ timeless and trend-proof sound continues in the band’s self-titled EP. Originally released to sell during last month’s east coast tour with Yahara, Ladders is a five-song continuation of the quartet’s breezy and beautiful style. Straightforward and easygoing, the EP—which was recorded at Howl Street Recordings—isn’t revolutionary or boundary-pushing by any means, it’s just pleasant to listen to. As subdued as the songs are, Mitchell’s billowing voice on “50 Miles High” and James Sauer’s piercing guitar solos during parts of “Brick” briefly push the simplistic songs to new territory, bending but not breaking format before going back to basics.
No, Ladders isn’t redefining modern music, but it’s also not hurting it in the least. Sometimes the simple things can be the most satisfying. Stream Ladders before its August 11 release, only at Milwaukee Record.