by Kyle Rossini
The German-based alternative rock group Milky Chance blessed fans when their third studio album Mind the Moon was released on November 15th. Announced back in August, the 12-track effort runs 43 minutes in length and was promoted with the release of the lead single “Daydreaming,” which has currently worked its way to over 10 million streams on Spotify. This is their first project since 2017’s Blossom, and much like their previous efforts, the focus of Mind the Moon is clearly to push the boundaries of sound. Milky Chance thrives by consistently pushing the confines of typical genres in the music industry today.
Throughout the album, the production stands out and seamlessly introduces the unique voice of lead vocalist Clemens Rehbein. The album begins with an electronic-turned-folk-turned-electronic-again beat that pays homage to the popular Portuguese music style, “Fabo.” The diverse influences and inspirations for Mind the Moon are apparent from the moment it begins. Listening for the first time, the stark stylistic differences between adjacent songs are immediately noticeable. Pop synths and engaging bass lines that drive songs such as “Oh Mama” are immediately followed by reggae-infused drums lines on “The Game.”
Lyrically, the album focuses on themes such as nostalgia, nature, and different states of mental being. The unique voice of Rehbein takes listeners on a path of sharp and colorful imagery as he discusses topics such as forces on Earth (“We Didn’t Make It To The Moon”) and getting lost in the clouds (“Daydreaming”). On the ninth track of the album, “Scarlet Paintings,” Rehbein laments on past failed relationships, expressing the pain of unrequited love.
On “Eden’s House,” a heavy acoustic guitar riff captures the signature folk sound that Milky Chance has used in their music since 2012. Mind the Moon also taps into the talent of numerous guest features who add vibrant vocal contributions to an already dense, full sound. Among those featured are Congolese-born Témé Tan on “Rush,” Australian musician Tash Sultana on “Daydreaming,” and the South African musical group Ladysmith Black Mambazo on “Eden’s House.”
Overall, Mind the Moon shows Milky Chance both embracing their comfort zone and pushing their boundaries. There are moments that sound both very familiar and very new: Milky Chance has become a master at their craft while still saving space to innovate and experiment. The album is a fun, energizing listen with bouncy, feet-moving beats masking lyrics that skew into the darker conscious mind. Its fusion of different styles of music keeps the production fresh enough that the instrumentals each take on a distinctive life of their own, existing perfectly as stand-alone tracks and together in a cohesive project.