Flicking through the 13 tracks of Miljon’s debut album for a sampler I couldn’t resist ‘Windows 79’ mainly because I recently subjected myself to something I’ve been putting off for years, the dumping of an old, quirky, tortoise-like but beloved computer in favour of a new all-singing and dancing one with the required operating system, and which itself will have to be dumped in a short time. I also recalled that Win Butler of Arcade Fire promotes himself as a DJ under the moniker Windows 98, but at least that is a bona fide operating system, albeit as useful as an abacus now.
Miljon (the duo Lisa Milberg and Jon Bergström) are every bit as quirky as the track title suggests. There’s something almost medieval about the way this instrumental song is constructed, a sort of latter day ‘Greensleeves’ held together by a slow, clunky drum machine-generated beat that could be Microsoft’s theme tune.
And that quirkiness continues in other tracks, most of which feature vocals, mainly from Lisa but occasionally from Jon, which are hushed or distorted, with simple little melodies made up of repeated notes that drill into your skull, declare squatters’ rights and refuse to leave.
The only variation from the theme is ‘Restlessness’ which lives up to its name with opening bars that could be Jimi Hendrix warming up at Woodstock followed by a bass beat that might be employed as a weapon of war to replace the Iron Dome.
I’m really struggling to encapsulate Miljon. It’s impossible to compare them with anyone else, they are a one-off. They aren’t producing music which will have perfectionists purring, just happy little pop songs like Bob Ross’ happy little trees on The Joy of Painting and you really don’t want to turn them off and return to your own reality.
And the story gets even stranger when you learn that her background is one of drummer and lead singer with indie-rock band The Concretes, which formed over 25 years ago, while his lies in the punk and underground electronic scene. Remarkable.
‘Don't They Know’ was released through Studio Barnhus on all digital platforms on May 14th and will be as a vinyl LP on June 18th.
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