THE GRAHAMS Release Episode One of Documentary Short, SEARCHING THE MILKY WAY

Five-Part Documentary Short Chronicling
Motorcycle Adventure Across Historic Route 66
That Inspired Latest Album KIDS LIKE US

Episode One Premiered on MXDWN

From Searching The Milky Way
“I really want it to be clear that Alyssa and I are not motorcyclists,” explains Doug Graham of cinematic indie band The Grahams. “We became [motorcyclists] because it’s an amazing way to travel the country, and because we’re adventurers… we agreed we were going to be adventurers in our life, and then we got married, right? Adventure number one.” And with that sentiment, the band kicks off the first episode of their five-part documentary short, Searching The Milky Way, following the motorcycle ride across Route 66 which stretches from Chicago to Los Angeles and inspired their latest album Kids Like Us.

MXDWN premiered this first episode concisely nailing the ambiance: “Layering their heartland-evoking take on folk-rock-tinged alternative pop with footage of their cross-country journey, the duo breathe life into the idiosyncratic pockets of America they explore.”

“We had a dream to ride our motorcycle across a piece of ‘great’ American history,” adds Alyssa Graham. “We were looking for a wild adventure along the vast 2,300 miles that is Route 66. What we encountered was a different world stuck in a different time. A bit surreal, at times supernatural, a little majestic, a lot racist, always unexpected and unquestionably wild. What started out as a journey across the great Mother Road to the Land of Milk and Honey, turned out to be more like an esoteric episode of The Twilight Zone.”

“Episode One”
Episode One opens up with the new album’s title track, “Kids Like Us,” and finds the band starting their journey with grits and potatoes in a Chicago diner. They discuss the rhyme and reason for the adventure, along with their hopes and expectations before taking their first dive into a world that will offer them all the ups and downs of a “Great American Story.” The scenes of cruising through the countryside are carried by the soaring track “Searching The Milky Way,” a song dedicated to the band’s great friend and producer Richard Swift (former member of The Shins who worked with Damien Jurado, Nathaniel Rateliff, Lucius, Lonnie Holley, The Mynabirds, Cayucas, Guster, and many more), who passed away in 2018. As night falls, the band lands in a small town bar called Elbow Inn and plays an acoustic show, back-dropped by a neon Miller Light sign and a flyer for an upcoming “Gun Raffle.” They celebrate life, love, and happiness with the locals and take in their first of many experiences to come.

The following episodes of the documentary that will be released over the next month take the band through Missouri, Oklahoma, Northern Texas, Arizona, and ultimately Los Angeles as they juxtapose the historic road’s “Disneyland-eques qualities” and David Lynch-ian neon sheen with the raw and real realities of the Working Class folk that have called this place their home for generations. Throughout the stops at antique shops, diners, barber shops, art houses, and taking some time to flip off the Haliburton Building along the way, the band constantly looks inward and outward as they learn more about the country and themselves. 

Kids Like Us Track Listing:

1. Kids Like Us
2. Don’t Give Your Heart Away
3. Painted Desert
4. Bite My Tongue
5. Running Out Of Time
6. One More Heartbreak
7. Heartbroken Town
8. Just What You Deserve
9. Love is My Cadillac
10. Love Letters
11. Searching The Milky Way 
12. Mr. G

Each stop offers them a story of an American experience, explores the diversity of what it means to be an American, and allows them to connect to someone they’ve only just met through music, art, and conversation. And woven into this outward exploration is deeper inward recognition of love and love lost, the bliss of friendship, and the inspiration for creation. It’s the bumps and bruises along the way that create depth in life and art. Alyssa describes, “The beauty in a song, or any piece of art really, is the part that isn’t perfect. It’s the part that is ugly and unexpected.”

Episode Two of Searching The Milky Way will be released on August 12th, the third episode on August 19th, the fourth on August 26 and the final episode and full documentary on September 2ndThe Grahams is Alyssa and Doug GrahamKids Like Us is out now via 3 Sirens Music Group/RED MUSIC/The Orchard.

The Grahams
Photo Credit: Colin Lane