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  • Andy

Mildfire 🇳🇴 🇩🇪 - 'How to be an Astronaut' (EP)

The post rock genre has a wide selection of genres, but it seems to be well suited to describing Oslo / Berlin based Mildfire, a band who effortlessly fuse rock, pop, classical minimalism and experimental sounds together to produce something that does sound genuinely different.

It's also possibly appropriately described in that genre because the project members previously originated from bands involved in the Norwegian and German music scene, including none other than all round good guy Einar Stray, loved on these pages for his 'Orchestra'. On their Bandcamp notes they throw in references to names such as Mew, Dirty Projectors and Steve Reich, all of whom I love, and the latter two of thoese in particular can be heard in glimpses on new EP 'How to Become an Astronaut', a handy 4 stage guide to getting employed by NASA in under 12 minutes of listening.

Of course it isn't anything of the kind, the reference to the Astronaut seems to be that of loneliness, and in that respect it is very powerful and quite moving. I've written before about releases that seem to take us away over mountains, lakes and into the deepest wilderness, and Mildfire clearly have aspirations even higher.

Split into 4 parts, this will take a couple of listens to seep into your consciousness, but it's worth the investment. Part One has a fluid piano driven theme, accompanied by a restless beauty in the accompanying strings, as if a peaceful walk through nature has come just as the wildlife's rush hour has started. Rhythms that could be a train ride open Part 2, with more compelling cello contributions from Ofelia Ossum (Team Me), before feverish instrumentals take over and the track builds to a real post rock style climax, it's really effective. The brass courtesy of Lyder Øvreås Røed (Fieh) and Magnus Joelson (BenReddik) add additional complexity and different textures of sound, before the flowing piano from Part 1 float back in.

Part 3 introduces Sufjan style vocals to delicately acoustics, with lyrics which are beautiful, but so simple, 'I will always be there for you....", reassuring words that also convey a message to all of us that we should be there for each other. Concluding Part 4 feels more distant and ambient, literally as if floating in space, but once again it's the sheer detail within the musical sounds and phrasing that takes this to a different level.

There's so much to listen to here in 11 minutes, but the combined effect is rreally beautiful. Their debut EP 'Drinking Salt Water' is also available on streaming services.

Find them on Instagram.


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