Mild High Club’s second album in just a year has a pleasing concept: the idea is that a private detective is on the trail of “the spirit of American music” circa the 1970’s. What he finds is Skiptracing, a cool suite of Californian groove and Steely Dan-esque jazz-inflected mellow-rock. A fun record on Stones Throw.
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Jumping out of the press release like a glinting £20 note in a manky old drain are the words Steely Dan. Now, something on Stones Throw that is comparable to Steely Dan sounds like some kind of musical nirvana for me.
However it isn’t until ‘Tesselation’ that anything that sounds close to Steely Dan takes place. In it’s place we get the sort of plangent hazed out pop music that sounds like Mac De Marco meeting the Sneetches for a lie down. This is swooning lo fidelity songwriting that could be compared with Ducktails or anyone who tries to stretch towards a classic era melody whilst recording on a Fisher Price ‘My First 4 Track’ set. What we have stumbled across here in Mild High Club founder Alexander Brettin is a Connan Mockasin or a Unknown Mortal Orchestra who has a fairly all encompassing obsession with ‘70s AM radio. It’s like the sounds of Andrew Gold squashed in a blender and sent through the air waves to 2016 via Ariel Pink’s reverb filter. It goes slow throughout, each track is so lazily spun that it demands a lie down. It has slinking jazz textures and soft as LA sea froth synths that are as foggy as a sea fret and as tired as my brain.
Absolutely delicious but the usual warning has to apply. Do not play whilst operating machinery.
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- Skiptracing by Mild High Club
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