Matthew Milia is a critically acclaimed songwriter, best known as the lead singer and guitarist for Frontier Ruckus. He is also a poet and visual artist. With Frontier Ruckus, Milia has tirelessly toured the United States and Europe since 2008—garnering a devoted cult following and performing at major music festivals such as Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and End of the Road in the United Kingdom. Known for his thematic obsession on memory, domestic minutiae, suburban redundancy, and the fragility of family dynamics, Milia has written over 100 songs constructing an intricate personal mythology based in his lifelong home of Detroit, Michigan.
"...the haunting voice of frontman Matthew Milia, who conjures what might happen had Neutral Milk Hotel's Jeff Mangum been raised in a log cabin."
- Rolling Stone
"...his unmistakable and emotively quavering voice...one man’s existential vision of the world through an idiosyncratic local lens."
"Matthew Milia is straight-up one of the most underrated lyricists of recent times."
- Gold Flake Paint
"Milia paints pictures, in vivid imagery of American scenery, life, and love, with not a single word misplaced in its poetic grace."
- Under the Radar
"...lyrics as dense as a Faulkner novel and intricate arrangements that transform the typical Americana twang and faded pastoral preconceptions of folk/pop into something surreal and yet familiar."
"Well-educated, literary-inclined American songwriters are hardly thin on the ground, but Frontier Ruckus' Matthew Milia's poetic inclination always sets him apart."
"The peculiar world of Frontier Ruckus is steeped in nostalgia for some lost suburban adolescence, the verbose song-stories of Matthew Milia piled high with video rentals, alluringly sad girls and arsey soccer coaches."
"Milia's lyrics roll like rich literature and are just as visually descriptive."
"Matthew Milia says more in one song than many artists do in an entire album."
- Chicago Magazine
"Matthew Milia sets dazzlingly impacted lines of poetry atop the homespun sway of Americana, his verbiage razor precise descriptions of home, family and memory in suburban Michigan..."
"Full of muted desperation, Milia conjuring a less than cosy world of strip malls, Prozac and missed opportunities with humour and pathos…"
"Honest songwriting...a swaying invitation into the suburban American household, offering a dreamy glance back into a past forgotten life."
"Milia could probably have had a successful career as a novelist if he hadn't decided to form the band Frontier Ruckus...but thankfully he's happy to continue making music, and Enter the Kingdom is yet another reminder that Frontier Ruckus are one of the best things to come out of Michigan since Faygo Redpop."
"As you’d probably expect from Matthew, it’s a gorgeous dose of indie folk."
"Milia tells these stories...with powerful vocals which tremble under the weight of expression, moving through a number of experiences and observations, at times involved and profound, at other times brilliantly effective in their simplicity."
- No Depression
"...Milia has put a new spin on the musical style known as Americana...as though Allen Ginsberg and Cole Porter had gotten together and agreed to write Americana songs about the Detroit suburbs. It's just crazy enough to catch on, and it seems to be doing just that."
- Ann Arbor Observer
"Somebody marry this winsome sad sack, whose increasingly plausible rhymes now include open-ibuprofen, gauche-precocious-neurosis, salad on the tennis court-valid passport, speckled melanin-freckled up your skin, and the very sexy errands-gerunds."
- Robert Christgau, Noisey
"Milia’s words obsess on the most suburban images possible."
- New York Daily News
"...the boy next door comes unhinged."
- Time Out New York
Publicity Photos (by Noah Elliott Morrison)