Having an eclectic mix of styles and influences as an artist is hardly a unique thing nowadays, but self-proclaimed ska-pop-soul-folk-punk artist Millie Manders can definitely be slapped with this label. Having already released two EPs as a solo artist, things seem set to rise more with third EP Obsession Transgression (funded by her growing fanbase).
Even though it only consists of four songs, they manage to capture the essence of Manders’ sound perfectly. On paper the mix of genres encompassed in her music sounds like far too much of a mishmash to work, but it really does. It’s the most organised musical chaos ever, with the brass elements (which often take the role of main riff) blending perfectly with the more traditional guitar, bass and drum format, best shown on the title track. Then there’s Millie Manders’ voice itself. There’s nothing saccharine about it; it’s soulful, radiates sass and is sharper than a shard of glass. The word gets thrown around a lot, but it’s honestly one of the most original female voices in the game.
And the songs themselves are mostly great too, with the vocals often carrying the beat and adding barrels of funk to the overall vibe. The chorus of ode to drinking Bacchus will be stuck in your head for days, while the energetic instrumental breaks of closer Long Gone give the whole track a special something you just can’t put your finger on. The only weak point is second track Teddy, which showcases the bratty talking and abrasive shouty sides of Manders’ vocals. It all just ends up sounding like nails on a chalkboard and really throws off the rest of the EP.
But nevertheless, Obsession Transgression sells Millie Manders perfectly, as a unique female solo artist with fingers in many pies in terms of genre, image conjuring lyrics, and just enough commercial appeal to really go places. Expect to see this lady a lot more next year.
For fans of: Reel Big Fish, Dance Hall Crashers, Lily Allen
Words by Georgia Jackson
‘Obsession Transgression’ by Millie Manders is out now on PledgeMusic.