Monday, 30 June 2014

Milky Chance - Sadnecessary (2014)

Milky Chance, 'Stolen Dance'

Info: Milky Chance are German duo Clemens Rehbein (vocals) and Philipp Dausch who originally released their debut album, Sadnecessary, in October of last year, it now get's it's Irish release on July 4th. Clemens and Philipp met in an "Advanced Music Course" at the start of eleventh grade, and they immediately gelled when it came to music. They played in a local band until graduation, even though the group disbanded, Clemens and Philipp kept on making music. Weaving together elegant electronic production with acoustic guitars and lilting, lush vocals, they harnessed a style unequivocally their own. 

Last year in their tiny self-built studio the duo cut Sadnecessary and last summer they released it on their own Lichtdicht Records in Europe. Within a few weeks, lead single ‘Stolen Dance’ had reached number one on Hype Machine. The above single, 'Stolen Dance' has gone to number 1 in 6 European countries and the video itself has a staggering 43,000,000+ views on YouTube. To date ‘Stolen Dance’ has also topped iTunes and Shazam charts across the world and was BBC Radio 1’s Record of the Day and song of the week on Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show on Today FM. 

Milky Chance, 'Down By The River'

What's the ablum like? The sound is very much folktronica (it's a genre!) with a very strong reggae style in both vocals and music, think Finley Quaye meets Alt-J with some sinister Joe Strummer moments รก la 'Guns of Brixton' on Sadnecessary's fifth track, 'Feathery', for example.  

When I first watched the video for 'Stolen Dance' it was immediately obvious why the track was so popular in Europe and Australia, it's a snappy but slightly pensive track and Rehbein's vocals are gritty and soothing at the same time. What really took me by surprise, however, was after listening to the album from start to finish for the very first time I realised there wasn't a single bad track on the recording, and to be perfectly honest I didn't want it to end, even with the two bonus tracks, 'Feathery' and 'Loveland' which are alternative versions of songs already on the album. 

While someone might initially perceive Milky Chance as a solid feel-good act, there is far more depth to the music on Sadnecessary and one of the albums strengths is it's versatility, verging from folk-pop to acoustic, to reggae, to yes, you guessed it, folktronica. There's also that rare ability at play where Rehbein's sometimes pained vocals are contrasted with Dausch's optimistic music, as on title track 'Sadnecessary' and reggae beauty 'Fairytale', which also has small shades of fellow German DJ, Paul Kalkbrenner's beats.

Sadnecessary is an album that takes you along whether you want to or not and ultimately is a thoroughly enjoyable listen from start to finish and I have to say personally I'm delighted I came across it, it's a keeper.

Rating: 4 / 5

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