Sleeping Masks and Tiny Vodka
Originally from Canada and currently making his home in Los Angeles, Michael Milosh (or just plain Milosh) is a musician who brings together a plethora of varied background influences and throws them all away to create something completely different. Knowing that Milosh is a classically trained cellist and jazz aficionado, one might expect Jetlag to be an album of long meandering solos, a virtuosic cacophony and impenetrably complex song structures. One couldn’t be more wrong. Jetlag is as quiet and personal as an Elliott Smith record, but with an electronic edge that falls somewhere between Tears for Fears and Radiohead.
Milosh’s sound on this record could be called ethereal or dreamy. Really, though, it sounds sleepy. On the opening track, “Do You Want What I Need,” it takes a minute to realize that Milosh’s slurred moans are actually full sentences sung in English. For a brief moment, it’s just beautiful nonsense. Some musicians try (and many fail) to make a spectacle of their work. Milosh circumvents this problem by not even trying. There’s nothing spectacular about Jetlag — it’s generally quiet, it rarely brings the tempo above a gentle trot, and it doesn’t bother much with crescendos.The music itself is jetlagged, existing in that weird in-between space where the volume of life is always turned down and things only make sense in retrospect.
Tracks like “Skipping” see Milosh take the classic pop song formula and blur it up with sedatives. Simple keyboard melodies are overlaid with layers of whisper-howled vocals that are perfect for a late night sing-along that won’t wake the neighbors. An occasional clap in the subdued backing injects just the tiniest bit of fun and liveliness. “Stakes Ain’t High” and “Slow Down” bring in pianos and an organic sound palette to flesh out a singer-songwriter vibe that pokes around in surrounding songs. The wandering, eight-minute “Hold Me” veers into a darker space that cuts through R&B and psychedelia in one weird trip.
Throughout its run, Jetlag stays subdued and somber, but not necessarily sad. It’s an in-betweener that doesn’t quite fit anywhere, which is really what makes it a good listen.