Mild High Club’s sophomore release, Skiptracing, is out on Stones Throw and gathering some pretty enviably wild descriptions from reviewers. Alex Brettin’s sound is described in psych-loungey terms like, “smooth, psychedelic jazz/funk infusions with spacey tinges that sound like warped AM radio hits from another galaxy.” Intergalactic metaphors abound, with another reviewer claiming one track, “Homage,” “opens a door onto a colorful, dreamy outer-space place, arpeggios gliding across the page like comets.” Another argues that through the album’s noir conceit, this alien vibe is satisfyingly recast over a remembered past: “…in investigating the spirit of American music, Mild High Club re-imagine AM radio hits as blasting in from a parallel universe, the sound of early ’70s LA in a smog of sativa.”
But Aquarium Drunkard possibly sums it up best:
Occupying a hazy, humid space—not unlike the one Ariel Pink, Conspiracy of Owls and early Unknown Mortal Orchestra have previously helmed—Brettin’s cool, grooving blend of lo-fi psych, lounge, and exotica deftly sates that sweet seasonal Pacifica jones.
But it’s not all cocktails and swimming pools. ’70s noir oozes out of the grooves in a warped, almost alien, fashion. As influences, Brettin cites great fictional LA antiheroes such as Elliott Gould’s portrayal of Philip Marlowe in Robert Altman’s adaptation of The Long Goodbye and Jack Nicholson’s Jake Gittes in Chinatown, as well as more unsung yarns such as Night Moves and The Killing of a Chinese Bookie—and they feel right at home on this record.
Listen to “Homage” for yourself below.