Milosh makes music for the mind, body and spirit. Introspective, intimate, sensual electro-folk steeped in perfumed melancholy and luscious romance. Combining beats, samples, guitars, strings and the most silken falsetto voice since prime-time Smokey Robinson, the third Milosh album ‘iii’ takes the listener on an emotional journey through an exquisitely beautiful musical landscape.
A classically trained cellist, jazz aficionado, Neil Young fan and devotee of left-field electronica, the Toronto-based Michael Milosh does not fit conventional pop categories – and nor does his music. His first two albums, You Make Me Feel and Meme, earned warm reviews that likened his different musical shadings to Radiohead, Depeche Mode, Cocteau Twins, Jamie Lidell, Brian Eno and even caramel-voiced R&B crooner D’Angelo.
But the truth is, Milosh sounds too much like himself for any of these labels to really stick. And ‘iii’ contains his richest, most luminously seductive music yet. A musical journal of exile and loneliness, sunshine and birdsong, it was written and largely recorded during a year-long stay on the tropical Thai island of Koh Samui.
"I didn’t realise I was going to feel as isolated as I did in Thailand," Milosh says. "Isolation is definitely a theme of this record, but also really loving water. I was doing a lot of diving out there. This record was partly about being away from my culture, and being away from all the things I loved."
The tracks on ‘iii’ combine the best of both Milosh’s cerebral electronica and soulful singer-songwriter sides, stirring deep emotions with lush arrangements, honeyed vocals and delicately deconstructed beats. From the softly weeping strings of ‘Another Day’ to the weightless, airy melancholy of ‘Gentle Samui’, many of these tracks come in various shades of blue. Behind its alluring surface sheen, ‘Remember The Good Things’ is a ghostly soulman serenade steeped in heartache and confusion.
"There are really sad moments on the record, but I am not sure people will interpret the same things as happy or sad," Milosh explains. "I enjoy throwing contradictions into songs, like when the lyrics are really happy but the melody’s sad – or vice versa. Whenever I listen to music I take my own feelings from it anyway, so hopefully if someone likes my record, they will take their own things from it. I don’t think you should try and control that, you just put something honest out there and it takes on its own life."
Indeed, there is always room for grace, hope and beauty in Milosh’s luxuriant soundworld. The healing, gently lapping ripples of ‘Warm Water’ and the sunny undulations of ‘Wrapped Around My Ways’ give the album an uplifting, life-affirming quality. Overall, ‘iii’ is a musical patchwork made of more of light than dark, more lullabies than laments, more sweet whispers than angry sobs.
"It’s a personal record," Milosh says, "so I guess my hope is people will have a personal connection with it. That’s what I’m going for, people listening to it one on one, maybe in their car or on their iPod. It’s not party music, it’s all about listening and indulging in it. Because that’s the kind of music I like."
That’s the Milosh effect. Music to nourish the mind, stimulate the body and soothe the spirit.