As the androgynous voice behind enigmatic electro-soul duo Rhye, singer-songwriter Milosh had many convinced that they were in fact listening to a new Sade-esque chanteuse on the stunning Quiet Storm-inspired Woman earlier this year. Now that the cat’s been let out of the bag, the Canadian has decided to revive his under-rated but largely ignored solo career with a fourth album, Jetlag, which is arguably just as seductive.
Recorded in collaboration with the former Nickelodeon star he recently married, Alexa Nikolas, the belated follow-up to 2008’s iii may have been described by Milosh as “an expression of deep love for my wife, my happiness and excitement for a new place in my life.” But thankfully its ten tracks are nowhere near as sickly-sweet as such a gushing statement would suggest.
Inspired by their relocations from Berlin to Thailand and then to Los Angeles, the title track is a hypnotic blend of grimy electronica and disjointed lounge beats which builds up to a frantic percussive finale. Opener “Do You What Want I Need” combines Milosh’s gorgeously yearning tones with an ominous wave of twitchy bass-lines and swelling synths, while the haunting chillout production of “Water” sounds like it’s been lifted from a long-lost sci-fi cult classic.
But even Jetlag’s gentler tracks avoid descending into pure schmaltz. Harking back to his classically-trained roots with its elegant piano hook, “Don’t Call It” recalls the woozy R&B of The Weeknd. “Stakes Ain’t High” offers a similarly lush late night vibe as his recent work with Robin Hannibal, and “Slow Down” is a beautifully melancholic jazz-tinged ballad which best utilises Milosh’s astonishing falsetto.
In other hands, Jetlag’s array of bedroom whispers and shared secrets could have left you feeling like a bit of a third wheel. But Milosh’s inherent warmth ensures that it’s an inviting, if slightly sketchy, record which perfectly caps off his triumphant year.