Two-time ARIA Award-winning Naarm/Melbourne-based psychedelic jazz outfit Mildlife today announce their much-anticipated third studio LP Chorus, due out March 1, 2024 and share the video for new single ‘Musica’.
The centrepiece to the forthcoming Chorus, ‘Musica’ was built on hours of improvisation, touring and studio time, honed over 100-plus shows across 23 different countries in the past year alone; at the end of each night, the band would dedicate space in their legendary extended encores to lengthy improvisational passages, out of this ‘Musica’ eventually coalescing from nebula to its fully recorded, synth-starred glory.
From those origins, the track came to assume particular significance for guitarist Adam Halliwell, whose Italian heritage manifested in the lyrics.
“When my Nona passed away, I realised I didn’t really know anything about my culture,” he says, having begun learning Italian since her passing a few years ago. “‘Musica’ started with ‘mi da la carica’, which means ‘gives me energy’. Some of the lyrics were written in Italian and then translated back to English a bit askew – almost like writing a song for Eurovision where the lyrics are not quite right”.
‘Musica’ follows the release of celestial previous single ‘Return to Centaurus’, a near-ten minute-long trip through psychedelic space rock and gloriously hook-heavy acid funk breakdowns which marked the band’s first new material since the release of their lauded 2020 second album Automatic. In the intervening period, the band have grown into one of Australia’s most critically acclaimed and widely beloved acts, carving out a niche wholly of their own – one that traverses jazz, dance, prog and psychedelic music into a curiously singular, entirely entrancing and moveable amalgam.
Directed by Hayden Somerville, the surreal ‘Musica’ video is a part-Coen Brothers, part-film noir oddball odyssey set in rural Australia, with nods to the Autobahns of Mildlife’s Krautrock influences along the way. On the clip, Somerville shares: “Listening to the track, the ‘part machine part human’ elements throughout MUSICA were so fun to mess around with. Both of those worlds play against each other in a really pleasing way in the song. I think that’s where ‘Keyboard Arm’ came from. The thought of growing your own little instrument and having a jam with friends was lovely and the whole clip grew from there.”
‘Chrous’ is released on March 1st, 2024 and UK & European shows and festivals will be announced soon.
Debuting at #8 on the ARIA Album Charts upon release, Automatic garnered plaudits from across the critical spectrum, with praise from NME AU (Best Australian Albums of 2020), Mixdown (“their most immersive listening experience to date”), The Age, The Guardian, CLASH, MTV AU, Brooklyn Vegan and more, including a four star review from The Sydney Morning Herald (“a skillful juggle of sonic ingredients”) and a four-and-a-half star review in Rolling Stone AU, who dubbed the album “the record of a lifetime”. With airplay across triple j, Double J, BBC Radio 6Music and feature album placements at FBi Radio, 3RRR and 2SER, Automatic also nabbed Mildlife nominations for Best Live Act and Best Group at the 2021 Music Victoria Awards, alongside being shortlisted for Best Independent Jazz Album at the 2021 AIR Independent Music Awards. It all culminated in the band winning their first-ever ARIA Award for Best Jazz Album in 2021, which was promptly followed up the next year with yet another win for the recording of their Mildlife Live At South Channel Island motion picture, an hour-long performance that saw the band masterfully recreate the magic of their much-vaunted live shows framed by the gorgeous surrounds of Port Phillip Bay. And, where Automatic largely consolidated the successes of their 2017 debut LP Phase, with the impending arrival of Chorus, Mildlife appear set to ascend to another stratosphere entirely.
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