I actually just watched Lehmann B Smith play in Totally Mild last week during SXSW, but now we get to hear what he’s been doing on his own. Bedroom Suck Records just announced they’ll be releasing his new record Poplar Music, and we’re here to give you a glimpse with the album’s first single. It’s strange in that it feels like the song could almost be a stomp, especially with the guitar chords that sit in the back, almost propelling the song forward. But, there’s something about the way Smith has texturized the track that elevates it beyond, whether with vocal bits or atmospheric touches and tinkers. I’m digging it, if that matters; the album drops on May 25th.
Having written about Totally Mild quite a bit as of late, I think their latest single might be one of my favorite tracks from their new record, Her. It’s presented with this chilled guitar line reminiscent of many like-minded Aussie acts. But, rather than pigeonhole themselves by sounding like all the rest, Elizabeth Mitchell owns the hour with her striking vocal performance just after the 1 minute mark; I love the way her voice rises, drops off, then reaches even higher. It’s hard not to listen to this track and see the band as something quite special, something to hang your hat on in 2018; look for the new LP on February 23rd via Chapter Music.
There is already a horde of great albums coming our way in 2018, but one of the one’s at the top of my list is the new record from Totally Mild (they’ll also be in attendance at this year’s SXSW). The group just released their new video for “Lucky Stars,” which is dominated by the performance of songwriter Elizabeth Mitchell. Her voice is powerful, with just a hint of fragility on some of the notes left hanging; she’s all alone in the video with her piano, furthering her role as an incredible force that will surely be heard all over the rest of the year. Look for Her to be released on February 23rd via Chapter Music.
We’ve already covered our Best of Oceania for 2017, but something I’m already penciling in will be the newest album from Totally Mild. This new single is strikingly bare, but in that, it delivers the powerful emotional connection listeners seek; it’s almost as if we’re sitting in the drawing room of Elizabeth Mitchell while she works on a newly penned tune. It’s impressive with how memorable this song is, despite employing piano and vocals as the key element; Mitchell’s performance will fill your room through your speakers. Look for the band’s new LP, Her, on February 23rd via Chapter Music.
Totally Mild was one of the group’s I listed as an act to keep an eye on during SXSW last year; I caught them a handful of times myself. Recently they’ve signed on with Chapter Music, one of the great homes for Australia artist. All that said, this new song is super impressive, and I’m reveling in the fact that it employs these little guitar stabs that recall early days in the jangle scene; they do move on in a dreamier style, complimented by Elizabeth Mitchell’s sultry delivery. Her sounds likes it’s filled with great songs; it will be released on February 23rd of next year.
In the midst of gearing up for another Ocean Party album, a few members had time to sit down with other friends (somemembers of Totally Mild) and record the latest album from Ciggie Witch.Classic Connection is their first new work since 2014, and it’s pretty much an all encompassing of the guitar sounds of Melbourne; it’s casual and catchy, filled with pop sensibility that’s ultimately undeniable for any listener. Lost and Lonesome is handling the release, and I hope a few copies make it to my side of the pond. Enjoy your morning.
Totally Mild are a four piece outfit who hail from Melbourne, Australia and create lush and soft sounding indie pop. What started out as the project of front woman, Elizabeth Mitchell, became fully fleshed out with the help the collective creativity of the band as a group. The result is Down Time the debut album from these folks which will have your ears begging for more of the heaven-sent indie pop.
The first thing you’ll notice when you sit down to listen to this record, and what will bring you back again and again to certain tracks is the impossible crisp and delicate nature of Mitchell’s vocals. Half-falsetto, half simply so sharp they sound practically other-worldly in their effortless perfection, Mitchell’s vocals are easily the star of the mix, or at least the star that shines the brightest in the indie pop. Totally Mild’s sound is a mix of straightforward indie pop with hints of sun-bleached surf guitars and a dash of shoe-gaze. The guitars edge between jangly and clear and are always perfectly spliced into the mix, resulting in a concise and careful quality to Down Time.
In the crisp and pure sound of the vocals in combination with the instruments to make simply divine sounding pop, an interesting dynamic spurs in the middle part of the album in which these gentle sounding melodies make for some pretty dark tunes. In the three track knockout span that includes “Nights,” “The Next Day,” and “Work It Out,” the band combines their sweet sounding pop with the spinning of morose lyrics: “All my nights end with all my friends dead,” “I’m in bed and I never want to go outside again,” “Lately I’ve used up all my faces of disdain.” But each of these numbers bring in the blacker notes to the tracks in different ways. The first out of the trio, “Nights,” adds a hint of sinister sound in the guitar licks, which are even and slow, while the other two of the tracks act as two parts of a whole. “The Next Day,” is about exactly what you’d expect it to be about and is a slow, somewhat self-deprecating track whose center break down is tragically filled with nostalgia, and longing. This leads seamlessly into “Work It Out” which brings in the darker elements with the cutty guitar parts and the sectionalized bits of the song. These three tracks alone are simply great, and show the kind of promise this band has.
For a debut album, there is a ton to appreciate about this release; it’s brief, filled with some great tracks that will pull you back time and time again. However, in the brevity, it seems to lack a bit of meat to its core. On a few of the numbers, the band seems to be getting to a build, or starting to build up, but then the song just ends instead of going in a different direction. This flatness isn’t a huge detractor from the enjoyability of the record, but a little more dimensionality would have pushed it from good to great. I look forward to hearing a sophomore release from Totally Mild.