These days it is not particularly uncommon for an indie band to break into massive popularity with a hit single or two. It is, however, somewhat more uncommon for a European indie band to achieve this feat. There is a German duo that is currently rising to prominence on the tails of this video:
Milky Chance’s “Stolen Dance” has captured the ears of the world, so I decided to give their debut album, Sadnecessary, a try. Let’s get to it.
At first glance, the appeal of Milky Chance is both apparent and well-earned. The primary reason for their success is in the recipe that makes almost all big hits: it’s catchy, unoffensive, and has an infectious beat. I think that those elements of indie-pop characterize the majority of the album, with a few exceptions. Looking into it a little deeper, the album is a harmonious combination of the instrumental and the produced. At the forefront we hear the slurred, slightly melancholic voice of Clemens Rehbein above his smooth, finger-picked guitar work. The produced and electronic side comes from Philipp Dausch, the DJ responsible for all the beats that make give the album its forward motion. The two of them combine for a simple yet detailed and intricate sound. There is also an interesting mix of rock aspects and pseudo-ska, which gives the album a bit of intensity and a bit of chill. These factors mean that the album certainly has a little something for everyone.
Sadnecessary is certainly an enjoyable album, but there are a few drawbacks. The biggest problem is a lack of variation on the album. After several runs through the full record it still feels like almost every song has the same vibe, the same pieces. Cue laid back guitar, cue vocal melody in a limited range, cue steady beat. I also think that Rehbein’s voice loses me after a while, particularly tracks like “Sweet Sun”. I feel that Sadnecessary is very well suited for throwing a few tunes into a playlist, but perhaps it’s not geared for full listening.
Milky Chance is a band that anyone should try, there is no doubt that the album is enjoyable and rather catchy, but I do not think this is one that will keep me coming back time and time again. I will, however, be keeping an eye on how this band develops. It is only their first album after all.