Mild Meltdowns cross hatches loose thoughts and intimate truths. It’s the product of Raindrop, alias of Sydney’s Miles Devine. With his latest recording Miles and studio compatriots fly close to the classic sound of Mercury Rev and the Flaming Lips. It’s here they slip between jangling psychedelic dreams, melancholy and warm devotional feeling.
Each track plays out beholden by its own logic. Typically, something between beguiling oddness and half-melted charm. Miles plays the shy romantic. An introspective soul sifting through loose observations and lysergic headspace.
The record makes studied contrasts. One mood is balanced against another and they flow into one another with ease. Layering and touches dazzling complexity add flash, but these songs put across emotion simple.
‘Only Hope’ and ‘All Over’ arrive jangly yet compact. Others, not least of all ‘Bob Dylan’s 116th Dream’, evade conventional structure. Yet it all holds together. Mild is the product of internal principles and audiophilic perfectionism first-time listeners can barely grasp but instantly enjoy.
There’s times where these sounds take flight into the Floydian grandeur of Tame Impala and scattered genius of Ariel Pink. But as stated, the group inevitably circles closest to neo psychedelia’s lo-fi roots. That whole idea of recording the bare bones of a song in a few takes then spending an eternity working on the mix.
There’s an understated classicism too. Like so many of their peers and antecedents, Raindrop is almost perpetually lost within the moment The Beatles’ ‘Strawberry Fields’ started some 50 years before. A fantasy of the unfamiliar. Not the kind of music the listener necessary wants but that which gives them something they didn’t know they needed.
Mild drifts into fantasy. It’s here that it finds resolve in the optimism of a new beginning. As comfortingly present as it is insistent in being felt.
Words by Riley Fitzgerald