3 Feb 2023
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Renee Millner

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Fly Me Back is the latest single from Taranaki-based artist, Renee Millner, released on March 31st. Accompanied by a lyric video, the single explores what it means to turn away from dark thoughts and emotions, and find the way back to a healthier place of curiosity and vitality rather than judgement and languor.

As Renee says in discussing the track’s meaning, “The point is that sometimes we feel like we’re in the grip of something dark and malignant, when really it’s us that’s doing the gripping. And if, in those moments, we can release our hold, we create room for lighter, healthier things to enter.”

The single follows on from February’s emotive Out Their Windows, a song written in 2020 themed around the need to maintain connectedness in a pandemic world of limited social contact.

Perhaps easiest to peg as a singer-songwriter simply on the merit of her emotive acoustic guitar work and smoky, soulful voice, a deeper listen reveals an artist who refuses to limit herself with these kinds of labels. In Fly Me Back, effected drums and ambient, electronic soundscapes back her acoustic guitar and piano, shifting the track into a different stylistic sphere altogether.

At its climax, swelling layered harmonies and the use of prolonged sustain and reverb on the piano transition the song solidly into an alternative soundscape that is cleverly reflected in the accompanying dystopian lyric video, created by William King.

Renee’s vocal style complements this stylistic duality in another manner. She is able to convey a spine-tingling depth of emotion with her incredible voice, but what is surprising is how the zenith of its beauty and power is held within its soulful gentleness.

Combining this intriguing vocal with the acoustic and electronic instrumentation, the song becomes a skilful balancing of the acoustic ‘real’ and electronic ‘unreal’ that adds an especial potency to the track: it’s like being adrift in space, but reaching out to find a grounding flesh-and-blood hand to hold onto.

By Katie Brown - The May Magazine - April, 2021

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  • New Plymouth


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