Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured during the Spring 2014 Fundraising Drive, is “Hold Me” by Milosh from the 2013 album Jet Lag on Deadly/eOne Music.
Emerging as the voice of not one, but two seductive R&B acts in 2013, Mike Milosh has set himself of one of modern R&B’s most distinct and subtly powerful singers. A classically-trained cellist, the Toronto-bred Milosh has been releasing records under his surname for some years until a chance meeting with Danish producer Robin Hannibal led to the creation of Rhye, whose 2013 debut album Woman became one of the year’s first sleeper hits through the duo’s magnetic mixture of pristine arrangements and Milosh’s gorgeous, mellifluous countertenor. The pair’s initial efforts were initially shrouded in anonymity, but as Milosh has since noted, the project’s perceived mystery was a choice of practicality: Milosh wanted to keep Rhye separate from his then-forthcoming solo album, Jetlag. The common thread between Jetlag and Woman is Alexa Nikolas, Milosh’s wife who inspired the two albums (and co-produced Jetlag, which is named in reference to their post-nuptials travels). Where Woman was smoothly spartan and pristinely shimmering, the more electronic-based Jetlag is somewhat darker and more insular in tone, but no less romantic. “Hold Me”, an eight minute slow burn that anchors Jetlag, opens with the singer describing a series of things his lover does that he appreciates, but unsatisfied with simply rattling off a list of ways he adores his wife to the listener, Milosh opts to vividly tell and show. Across its lengthy runtime, “Hold Me” buzzes to life, drops out to exhale, then rumbles back to life, building up a persistent, sinewy rhythm underneath Milosh’s desiring pleas (“so come on, hold me in this space, before I lose this feeling”). “Hold Me” winds seemingly endlessly with serpentine ease, forming an amorous odyssey that resonates deeper with every passing minute.
Milosh’s only currently announced dates are a handful of summer shows with Rhye, including a slot at the July 4th weekend edition of Sasquatch, but keep an eye on his Facebook and Bandcamp to keep up with his and Alexa’s travels and hear about any new music or tour announcements. Below, watch the video for the Jetlag track “This Time”.