Friday, December 5th, 2014

Milky Chance – Stolen Dance

Well, if Orange Juice could record, so can…


Katherine St Asaph: Tuneless noodling and kiddie-pool “Waves” from twerps who chose to be called “Milky Chance.” Yet this is a crossover hit, and the more the industry learns about analytics the more infrequently those happen by accident. Either enough of the right people found some charm somewhere, or all the kings’ thrusting, their discovery initiatives and sponsorship dollars and and other ways to get people to marvel at how “they” “found” this “random” “new” “band” and “realized” they “liked” them — money, time and effort that could go to great pop songs bequeathed no promo, no likes, no landed critic pitches and no new fans — were spent on this. And “Stolen Chance” will be trumpeted, like fellow trifles “Am I Wrong” or “Take Me to Church,” as a grassroots success, inane words will be written about “substance over style, and music will get worse.

Abby Waysdorf: I considered suggesting this as a song ages ago, as one of those “songs that are really big here that may not have emerged elsewhere yet,” but then I decided it was too boring. I stand by that decision, although actually listening to it (as opposed to the distracted listening of TV commercials and the grocery store) it’s not all that bad. Maybe I’ve just got used to it being part of the fabric of life, or maybe I do have the weakness I’ve long suspected I do for these mid-tempo folk-pop songs. Either way, while it’s still pretty dull, it could be a lot worse.

Edward Okulicz: I didn’t know it was possible to hear a song hundreds of times over a period of several months, and then listen to it solidly for an hour and not be able to remember the majority of how it goes. The only explanation I can think of is that this tuneless, wispy trifle, with its oh-so-tasteful strum and ultra-polite, ultra-lite beat is triggering some kind of localised, highly specific amnesia. All I can really say for sure is that it is not as awful as Mumford & Sons.

Brad Shoup: I guess every King Krule needs some court jesters.

Thomas Inskeep: Milky Chance is one of the worst artist names I’ve heard in a long time, and I lived through the ’90s, so I should know. Acoustic guitar + “a beat” + wan vocals = nothing at all.

Alfred Soto: “The band said that it took them three years to write the song,” Wikipedia claims. Millions of YouTube views too. Within its freeze-dried context the arpeggios and attempts at soul strain are effective, I guess — imagine Amnesiac-era Radiohead given an airing by Nico & Vinz. .

Will Adams: The unholy fusion of campfire guitar lines with deep house drums à la Robin Schulz reaches its nadir, with an excruciating vocalist sleepwalking over boring riffs. And there’s a clap that sounds like a fart thrown for good measure.

Reader average: [3.71] (7 votes)

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8 Responses to “Milky Chance – Stolen Dance”

  1. Man I wish Maxwell had reviewed this

  2. There’s a Mumford & Sons mention in all of today’s blurbs and I’m not sure how to feel about that.

  3. Seems a little unnecessary to be hypothesising about elaborate marketing conspiracies eighteen months after it was no.1 in seven different countries. The kids seem to dig folky-electronica (Asaf Avadan, Lily Wood, Vance Joy, etc) at the moment and this falls squarely in with those, even if it’s substantially less charming than it imagines itself to be.

  4. Agreed with Ashik- it’s been massive here (Holland) and elsewhere in west-continental Europe, and one of many that kind of sound like this. It’s a trend, whether you like it or not, and only as much of a analytics/marketing conspiracy as every other pop trend.

  5. True, but not every global No. 1 hit crosses over. Generally there has to be some apparatus in place.

  6. Pan-European no.1 hits sung in English that aren’t straightforward dance tracks are relatively rare. As a business model, it makes perfect sense – as the investment in new US pop artists dries up why not just cherrypick things that have already been successful elsewhere? I’d expect to see more of it in the future. There is definitely an apparatus in place now but the song seems to have originated from a bedroom recording and blown up via YouTube, which is arguably easier to do in Europe.

  7. @Miri

    “I didn’t expect such a syncopated yet almost clumsy sounding post-Ska beat to captivate the hearts and minds of America in 2014. I don’t know, maybe The English Beat need to consider a reunion single. But Milky Chance have done it by sounding so out of the loop from everything, right down to the invocation of the dreaded ‘boogie’, such a hokey word that makes you imagine Milky Chance might actually be a home schooled band who’ve managed to be unleashed onto the world with no idea what is supposed to be a song. It’s so unlikely that well, how can it not have charm? [4]”

    Is what I would’ve done if I’d not had finals week coming up. We do this for y’all.

  8. I don’t think we’d be so quick to demand reasons why a song that went number one in America also went number one in seven European countries. Talking about big international hits as “crossovers” because they also become big in the US seems to assert an unearned centrality to the American experience.