Premiere: Detroit's Matthew Milia celebrates nostalgia and growing pains in 'Congratulations Honey'


Milia in 'Congratulations, Honey' - COURTESY STILL
  • Courtesy still
  • Milia in 'Congratulations, Honey'

Detroit-based singer-songwriter Matthew Milia captures the essence of suburban mundanity and nostalgic glory in his music video for “Congratulations Honey,” a single off his upcoming record, Alone at St. Hugo.

The video is kind-of happy-but-veiled with an emptiness that could fill an abandoned shopping mall — something that Milia is likely familiar with, having grown up in the suburbs of Detroit. The video showcases preciously normal scenes — an elderly man eating alone, Milia's mother drinking beer while bowling and reminiscing about past accomplishments, two leather-clad lovers making out in Lupita’s laundromat in Southwest Detroit, and Milia and his real-life fiancee sitting on the hood of a family sedan in front of the pre-demolition Pontiac Silverdome at sunrise.

Milia presents as a sad-boy, but what is made clear by the visuals for "Congratulations, Honey" is that he finds time and space within the process of his own reflection to appreciate the beauty in small things, like picking pumpkins, eating soft serve and playing pedal-steel in a bowling alley. 

Milia and his partner - COURTESY STILL
  • Courtesy still
  • Milia and his partner

The video and song feel inherently like autumn, but the nostalgic malaise is suited for listening any time of year, especially when you feel like thinking about your complicated family dynamics. These themes are directly tied to Milia's entire aesthetic, with his cover art for Alone at St. Hugo being made up of a collage of family photos and childlike title font. His close to home stylization pairs well with the way this song and the others were recorded — in a small spare room in Ypsilanti on reel-to-reel tape, with his friend and collaborator, producer Ben Collins of Minihorse.

Milia will have a release show on Friday, May 3 at The Loving Touch, along with fellow former Frontier Ruckus bandmate, Anna Burch, and Career Club. Tickets and information can be found here.

You can watch the full video for “Congratulations Honey” below.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.