Not to be confused
with a similarly named brand of dog biscuits, Canadian duo Milk & Bone return with a tasty and nourishing 4-track EP that
leaves you hungry for more.
A collaboration with
Belgian producer Alex Lustig, ‘Dive’ is the follow-up to their second album
‘Deception Bay’. It sees them working in the same musical vein as Chvrches, the
xx and Grimes.
Their brand of
electropop draws on a distinctly 1980s sound, with sweeping synths and a drum
machine high in the mix. The production is clean and highly-polished, but
subtle enough to allow the gently melancholic melodies to take centre stage.
While the moody ‘Ride
or Die’ provides the EP with a solid start, it’s on second track ‘Peaches’ that
Milk & Bone show what they’re capable
of. A sweet slice of bubblegum pop, it has the potential to be a massive summer
anthem. The delicate, high-pitched vocals and infectious hooks combine to
create a sun-drenched toe-tapper.
significantly darker with ‘Vision. Colour.’. It’s a chilly and downbeat track
with a chorus that has the air of a twisted nursery rhyme. It shares the
moodiness and slick production style of The Cure and early Pet Shop Boys.
Final track ‘Blue
Dream’ sees a return to the warmth of before. Slow-burning and almost
hymn-like, its sweet harmonies and swooning synthlines create a sense of
yearning and awe. Drums kick in towards the end, followed by rippling synths
clearly influenced by electropop pioneer Giorgio Moreoder.
It’s another example of the degree to which Milk & Bone are in debt to the past. Yet there’s no sign of lazy nostalgia or plagiarism here. The 1980s sheen they add to their songs comes across more as a reverent and welcome tribute to their influences rather than a rehashing of another era’s sound.
Their talent for
strong melodies mean that Milk & Bone
are capable of producing songs of high enough quality to stand alongside the
music of the past that they so admire.