18 Feb 2020
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Miloux - EP Review: Blonde (with Haz Beats)

21 Nov 2019 // A review by Mike Alexander

Move over Ladi6, there’s a new urban soul voice in town.

Miloux is the alter ego of Rebecca Melrose, a sassy still young thing (no sexism intended), who showed her skills on her 2016 EP, cunningly disguised as the amorphous EP1, and 2017’s equally non-descriptive EP2. Not to forget Never Ever her stunning collaboration with neo-soul mate Bailey Wiley.

She hasn’t been hiding away (Enough, the first single from this EP was nominated for the 2019 Silver Scroll), but she has been semi adopted by her peers including the likes of The Adults (Because of You) and Yoko-Zuna (Yours). Oh, and when Oprah comes calling and features the song Beaches in her TV series Queen Sugar, and fashion label Elie Saab sizes up your song Pocket for a promo campaign, it’s easy to be distracted. Hello, goodbye and welcome back.

Blonde is the result of a collaboration with the so under-rated and understated Haz Beats who sent Miloux a folder of 35 beats with a no-strings-attached, make of them what you will promissory note. It also features some gems of jams with Frank Eliesa (Yoko-Zuna) and Guy Harrison (Avantdale Bowling Club).

There was definitely something in the water as Miloux finds a soulful depth that’s oh so smooth on the surface but it exposes deep lyrical undercurrents that can so easily and unexpectedly sweep you away. It’s like swimming at Muriwai for the first time and getting caught in its infamous riptide.

The pull though is both exhilarating and startling when we realise we are out of our (emotional) depth. The Problem is the shifting sand that draws you in. It’s smooth, warm and inviting until it hits the first under current with the line “I think you could have had a problem; I should have cut you off then”, and before you know it, All Night breaks the illusion that there’s no allure without consequences. The night after brings a new day with an incessant chorus stuck in your mind.

The waves roll in and Enough starts to swamp you with self-doubt. You check your bearings and another wave rolls in on an exotic high (think Asian spaghetti western with a touch of Bob James keyboard lyricism) with High and you plunge further in. A siren calls you further into the depths on How It Feels, swirling around you while you hear the sound of a muted trumpet. Then a wave you didn’t see coming hits you on Down (featuring a crisp, 'copy me if you can' rapid rap by Spycc) and you taste the salt water and are bought back to earth, so to speak, with the thud of a vocal line that rings in your ears “take me right down like I know you would, you’ll see the good … convince me that I live in overdrive bring me back down, bring me back to life, easy in the knowledge of what we have left behind”.

It’s poetic license on my part but there are strong undercurrents to Blonde. Dive into it and you’ll find parts of yourself that you can identify with but haven’t had the self-honesty to acknowledge. There’s a ripple and a wave to everything we think, feel, say and do and if we don’t own it, the tides of life will always threaten to sweep us away.

I hope Miloux over-achieves any Blonde ambitions she might have. There’s a new Ladi in the house. To use an obvious but awfully corny pun, Rebecca Melrose has found her place.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About Miloux

Whether it’s with a full band in tow or a solo intimate set, Miloux has been constantly lauded for her vocal virtuosity, layered synthesiser instrumentation, and her passion for experimentation within the live and recorded music sphere.

A truly incredible vocal talent, Miloux has spent the past three years honing her unique spin on beats-driven ambient electronica. Between days teaching pre-teens to find their own voice and nights wowing crowds around Auckland, Miloux is a rare artist that wows every person she performs to.

After years singing in choirs and training in jazz, Rebecca Melrose began work as Miloux, and began running her pop sensibilities and jazz training through an electronic filter. The result – an unpredictable mix of an incredible voice, and diverse and exciting instrumentation. She has also become a sort-after collaborator for Australasian producers, featuring on tracks from the likes of Chores, Benson and Terace, and gaining a strong following in the electronic realm.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Miloux

Releases

EP 2
Year: 2017
Type: EP
EP 1
Year: 2016
Type: EP
EP 1: Remixes
Year: 2016
Type: EP

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