This week's ALT 104.5 New Music Discovery of the Week is Milky Chance - Colorado brought to you by Family & Co. Jewelers!
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In the years since posting their first tracks to YouTube, Milky Chance have racked up billions of streams, headlined massive sold-out concerts around the world, performed on nearly every late night show, and played iconic festivals from Coachella and Lollapalooza to Bonnaroo and ACL. But when the COVID-19 pandemic struck and forced the breakout German duo to cancel an entire year’s worth of tour dates, guitarist/singer Clemens Rehbein and bassist/percussionist Phillipp Dausch found themselves right back where they started nearly a decade ago: just two music-loving friends with nothing but time and ambition on their hands.
“It honestly felt like the early days all over again,” says Rehbein. “Without any schedules or deadlines, we were back to making music just for ourselves, free to experiment and take risks and have fun with it.”
It’s that boundless sense of freedom and possibility that fuels the duo’s addictive new single (and first fully independent release on their own Muggelig Records label), “Colorado.” Written and recorded in a flash of inspiration, the track mixes indie rock grit with electro-pop shine, layering interlocking guitar and synthesizer hooks as it transforms the pain of heartbreak into something utterly transcendent and anthemic. Where much of Milky Chance’s earlier work incorporated acoustic reggae and folk influences, “Colorado” pulls more from the punk world, with a driving, muscular arrangement and raw, searing lyrics. “We had it all but what do I know,” Rehbein sings, balancing frustration and disappointment in equal measure. “I try to push away the sorrow / But today it’s too late / I’ll try tomorrow.”
“If there’s a silver lining to the past year,” says Dausch, “it’s been the chance to take our sound to places we might never otherwise have gone. You can get tunnel vision being constantly on the road, but having a break like this really gave us a fresh perspective on things.”
Indeed, Milky Chance have been in perpetual motion ever since the release of their star-making debut single, “Stolen Dance.” Recorded at Rehbein’s childhood home in Kassel, Germany, the track became an international juggernaut after the band posted it online in 2013, topping charts in more than a dozen countries before crossing the pond and hitting #1 on the Billboard Alternative Chart. Proving they were more than just a hit single, the pair returned later that same year with their critically acclaimed full-length debut, sadnecessary, which SPIN hailed as “lovely and understated” and the New York Times called “a beatnik spread of fingerpicked guitars and jazz-influenced synth pulses.” In the years to come, the duo would spend nearly all of their time on the road, pausing only briefly to record their similarly well-received follow-ups—2017’s Blossom and 2019’s Mind The Moon—before heading right back out on tour.