If Black Moth Super Rainbow got loaded on Quaaludes, maybe Mild High Club is what would happen. Their debut album Timeline is a severely poppy trip (not to be confused with a severe poppy trip), the songs coming at you through a dream-like sludge. Abandon your expectations, because Alexander Brettin will surprise you anyway.
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There’s plenty of old-school psych to both unwind and rewind with this year, and a lot of it has taken the form of ‘70s folk naturalism: we’ve had Gold Celeste rubbing their lazy-day bliss in our face with ‘The Glow’, plus Mister Matt Valentine ascending sleepily to the bean bags of heaven. Somewhere towards the more earth-contented pop spectrum are Mild High Club, whose ‘Timeline’ exists in nostalgia, but not in a haze of it; theirs are clear and quietly strummed songs that aspire towards the same level of easy listening as a Real Estate or a Mac DeMarco -- just with more of the old days, y’all.
While each of their song has airtight production and lives a pretty cushy life, Mild High Club are actually so slow that you become accustomed to their speed, letting it all bleed together. In their barely clock-ticked timezone, the first four songs become a blur of acoustic guitars, twanging riffs and sleeping drumbeats the melodies and sweet spots swept under the rug after use. “You and Me” snaps out of it by invoking a compelling rhythm out of nowhere as a synth solo swirls its way through the back door, and the record’s title track cuts into a bleat of sharp synths and cushioned space rock. There are moments where you can hear the band spicing things up, basically, but only at that lullaby tempo they love.
This is one-speed music: you either love the pop sustain or you need a narrative with all its upswings and downturns. If you’re happy to sit there and let things roll amiably on for a while, then Mild High Club are as delightful as all the other delightful music, singing and playing like they've been hit with sunburn but are just grateful for the summer. Speaking of: RIP summer, you will be missed.
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- Timeline by Mild High Club
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