German group Milky Chance are finally back with their sophomore album, Blossom. Their interesting blend of folk and electronica has evolved since we last heard from them, but its still familiar and easily identifiable as the group we know and love. A lot of this can probably be attributed to the unique, accent-tinged vocals of lead singer Clemens Rehbein, who remains a constant presence throughout all of the album. On many of the songs, Rehbein carries us from guitar solo to guitar solo with a casual tone that’s perfect for sing-a-longs – which we’ll no doubt experience when the group reaches our shores for Groovin’ the Moo later this year.
Single ‘Cocoon’ has been popular thanks to its easy chorus, a staple of the Milky Chance repertoire. Winding guitars and solid drum beats bring back memories of previous singles such as ‘Flashed Junk Mind’. It may not be new but it sure works.
Not all tracks fit the classic Milky Chance formula though. Slower tracks like ‘Bad Things’ and ‘Piano Song’ showcase the group’s ability to make more minimal tracks that will still work well in a live setting. ‘Bad Things’ in particular is quite interesting, with guest vocalist Izzy Bizu shining through both on her own verses and in harmony with Rehbein. It’s amazing what a difference a bit of collaboration can do, and in this case it’s created one of the best tracks on the album.
‘Clouds’ and ‘Firebird’ both take a while to get started, but once the guitars kick in we get a taste of production guru Philipp Dausch’s flair for creating catchy tunes. Both tracks showcase how Milky Chance can write a damn good pop song without sticking to the traditional rules of the genre. And this is what makes Blossom special – it stands out from a lot of recent pop albums in a way that no one but Milky Chance could.