Approximately a fortnight ago I interviewed Millie Manders for Music Gateway; today I am here to scribe a follow up review to Millie’s The Free-P which was released on January 30th.
The Free-P houses 4 emotive and thought provoking songs including: Hole In Your Chest, Sick, Little Big Mouth and Mr Stupid.
Before I start discussing Millie’s unique Ska Punk sound, I feel that it is essential to introduce the tremendous musicians from The Free-P who fortified Millie’s already powerhouse voice:
Nzoyi on guitar, Frankie P on bass, Michael Osborne on drums, Sam Morris on Tenor Sax and of course Millie accompanies herself with her splendid ukulele.
Moreover, credit also needs to be given to the lovely illustration of Millie by Dan Harris which harnesses the vitality of the songs within.
A quick update with Millie…
I quickly caught up with Millie last week to ask her a few questions about the progress of her EP…
Rania: How has the release gone?
Millie: The release has gone well. I have had numerous requests for CDs from fans, and lots of people wanting CDs at gigs - I had 100 go in the first two gigs! I have so far had some really positive press and I am aware of more reviews in the pipeline which is great.
The feedback I have had from both fans and industry has been incredibly flattering also, Spotify have chosen to verify me as an artist on their site.
Rania: How are you engaging your fan base via promoting Free-P?
Millie: I am promoting it in a number of ways. Firstly, through word of mouth - at my gigs/through fan interaction. I have advertising in a number of places on the Internet.
I am constantly looking for press coverage which naturally helps spread the word;
I use social media in all forms and interact with people when they mention my EP.
I have had radio play inFrance,Canada, US,Germany, NZ and theUK.
I am accustomed to listening to Millie’s music with only the self accompaniment of her ukulele and perhaps a guitar but NEVER with a full band. Millie’s solid Mezzo Soprano voice pairs quite magnificently with the melange of instrumental sounds that have merged throughout The Free-P ever so brilliantly. Normally some musicians have a specific sound associate with their work; one distinguishing aspect of The Free-P that I completely adore; not only are the sounds different but the way Millie alters her singing techniques and inflection within her tracks is quite refreshing.
Unique sounds: 4 Songs in 1 EP
In true Manders fashion, Hole In Your Chest simply starts with Millie on the ukulele before the dynamic: guitar, bass, drums and that loud tenor sax come into play. The mellow breeze containing the various melody lines elevate the effortless pitch that resonates from inside of Millie. The irony is that she is singing about someone having a “hole in your chest” but she is doing it in the spirit of glee; thankful to be out of whatever torment haunted her. Sick on the emphasizes moments in our lives where other individuals can render us EXTREMELY ill. An emotion not only brought on by the strong melody but also the shift in Millie’s voice to one of strength, rage and angst. A total grunge feel alternating between guttural screams, emotional scats and sultry singing never mind the constant rhythm of the drum in perfect violent fashion to accompany the elegant rage vibrating from anxiety riddled tone throughout the song. I’ve never heard Sick before but I can imagine given the nature of the lyrics or musical arrangement that the genesis of this song obviously came from the anxiety riddled darkness within Millie’s personal essence.
".I pity you baby, you and your little big mouth” binds the required nourishment. I’ve heard Little Big Mouth many times before but not like this; a full band compliments Millie’s luscious cemented voice completely. Honestly I don’t know what I fancied most from this track: how the tenor sax, percussion and guitars communicate with Millie and her faithful ukulele or the sound of the cymbals as Millie’s voice escalates towards the end of this idiosyncratic piece. The staccato fast paced jazzy intro blended with both a singing and a speaking tone of Mr. Stupid mood vibrates consistently during this piece. In this song, I’ve envisioned Millie as one of those; pretty, mistreated, porcelain-china, baby dolls that have simply tolerated enough raging against wasted time. Once you listen you will not only hear the fortitude in Millie’s range but also the conversation between the instruments: bass, tenor sax and drums. Millie’s completely changed her singing technique in this song proving that there is no vocal style she can not conquer and the versifications forget about it!
One constant that stays crescendoing throughout Free-P from the first song of Hole in Your Chest to the last of Mr. Stupid. Is that Millie chose quite diligently those who accompanied her; not only do Millie’s lyrics throughout her EP speak of human pain and anguish but also the various ways of overcoming them via cathartic release. The Free-P genuinely reinforces that we must endure the hardships of intimate relationships; taking something that exploded picking up the invaluable pieces of lessons learned. Normally when I hear certain singers there is a bit of a tremble in their voice with regards to the high notes – not a single one in Millie’s voice which I sincerely appreciate as someone who writes and reviews music.
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