Tobie Milford has made a name for himself with his frenzied violin playing and raw, melodic voice. With those two elements as the backbone for his music, he crafts sonorous and frantic one-man symphonies that have enraptured his hometown of Phoenix.
Now he's taking his act on the road, introducing the world to his Beirut-meets-Andrew Bird style of folk.
"I would describe my sound as a marriage of ambient, minimalist string textures and plucking patterns, which are balanced out by dynamic vocals," Milford tells CMJ. "Call it indie folk with a minimalist classical bent. It came about when I started playing around with loop pedals using my violin, which I had previously played for 15 years, classically."
Milford's eclectic set of influences, which range from Radiohead and Phillip Glass to Sufjan Stevens and Godspeed You! Black Emperor, are palpable in his music, and his live shows have been steadily gaining him more attention, as his one-man show is a stark deviation from the standard band lineup.
"My live sound is, more or less, what you hear when you listen to my recordings, except my vocals are much more up front at shows," he says. "There's also a small amount of improvisation at my shows, in terms of vocal delivery and how the loops are built up, although overall song structures remain intact. Long-term fans seem to enjoy the different variations quite a bit and the variety keeps me on my toes as well."
His debut album, Alyosha, is available on iTunes and Amazon.