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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Antonio Greger (harmonica); Tobias Kuhn (keyboards, programming).
  • Recording information: Toolhouse Studio, Rothenburg an der Fulda, Germany.
  • Photographer: Jeff Hahn.
  • Milky Chance went from an obscure viral pop act to a Billboard 200 charter with their 2013 debut, Sadnecessary. Their sophomore full-length album, 2017's Blossom, finds the German duo building upon that success with a more robust sound and continued knack for hooky, rhythmically infectious pop. Still featuring the talents of singer/songwriter Clemens Rehbein and DJ/instrumentalist Philipp Dausch, Milky Chance make a distinctive brand of acoustic and electronic-infused indie pop that draws upon a wide array of styles from reggae to '60s psychedelia, as well as a heavy dose of Latin and Afro-pop. Interestingly, along with their global perspective and German roots, they sing in English -- a choice that adds to their populist accessibility. Which isn't to say Blossom is an artlessly commercialized recording. On the contrary, cuts like "Firebird," "Doing Good," and "Bad Things," which also features vocals from British singer Izzy Bizu, are emotive, organically produced, dance-friendly tracks that frame Rehbein's throaty, nasally resonant vocals with buoyant guitars, keyboards, and a variety of percussion. It's a sound that brings to mind a pleasing mix of Detroit's JR JR crossed with Canada's Sam Roberts Band. The album is folky and melodic where it needs to be, but it never strays too far from a sweet, toe-tapping pulse. Elsewhere, Milky Chance amp up the Latin-dance influence on "Clouds," and split the difference between spacy dub and laconic psych-rock on "Peripeteia." They even make room for a few introspective moments, as on the atmospheric and fittingly titled "Piano Song." Even before hearing them, with their head-scratching band name (purportedly a play on the idea of smooth or "milky"-sounding music), Milky Chance usually elicit a curious smile. However, after getting any number of the songs on Blossom stuck in your head, that smile quickly turns into one of earnest joy. ~ Matt Collar
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