Daiana Feuer on
On Aug. 26, Stones Throw Records will release “Skiptracing,” Mild High Club’s follow-up to last year’s “Timeline.” Stones Throw may be best known for hip-hop, but something about Alexander Brettin’s music captivated the label back in 2012 when Brettin handed them some demos and forged a magical friendship. Perhaps they enjoy sinking into music like it’s a warm hot tub. That initial tingly feeling when the entire body relaxes at once comes close to encapsulating Mild High Club’s sound.
A loose, detective-inspired narrative ties all the songs on “Skiptracing” together, but Brettin is really telling his own story, the journey of a songwriter questioning his authenticity and originality in the post-modern age. The opening lyric to “Homage” considers the deliberate or unintentional influence of music he’s heard. When Brettin sings, “Someone wrote this song before and I could tell you where it’s from,” he’s questioning his own agency in the creation process. As far as the listener experience, “Homage” opens a door onto a colorful, dreamy outer-space place, arpeggios gliding across the page like comets. The song somehow mimics the sensation in your stomach when you drive over small hills or come over the top of a Ferris wheel. It’s pleasurable vertigo.
||| Stream: “Homage”
||| Live: Mild High Club perform Aug. 30 at The Echo.