2017 was a breakthrough year for the now-acclaimed Melbourne-based outfit Mildlife — multi-instrumentalists Jim Rindfleish, Adam Halliwell, Kevin McDowell and Tom Shanahan: Their full-length debut Phase, a mind-bending mix of jazz, krautrock and trippy grooves quickly became a word-of-mouth sensation among open-minded DJs and crate-diggers searching for that perfect, as-of-yet undiscovered-but-incredible beat. Their emergence — and their profile — was solidified by some extensive touring that demonstrated a loose-limbed live approach that thrilled and won over new fans, including the BBC’s Gilles Peterson.
By the end of 2017, the album received critical praise from Resident Advisor, Uncut,and The Guardian, as well as airplay on BBC Radio 6. Adding to a growing profile, the album landed a handful of award nominations including Best Album at the 2018 Worldwide FM Awards, Best Independent Jazz Album at the 2018 AIR Awards and Best Electronic Award nomination and win at the The Age Music Victoria Awards. DJ Harvey also included album track “Magnificent Moon” on his Pikes compilation Mercury Rising, Vol. II.
The Melbourne-based quartet have also opened for Stereolab, JOVM mainstays King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and Harvey Sutherland. Their first national headlining tour was sold out, and they immediately followed up with a ten-date UK and European tour, which was culminated with a homecoming set at Meredith Music Festival.
Mildlife released their sophomore album Automatic through Heavenly Recordings late last year. The album, which debuted at #10 on the Aussie charts, saw the band crafting much more danceable material, centered around tightly structured arrangements that allow room for melodic improvisation paired with ethereal vocals. Interestingly, the album manages to further cement the Aussie outfit’s approach and reputation for effortlessly gliding between live performance and studio songwriting. Capping off the year, Automatic won an ARIA Award for Best Jazz Album.
Unable to play shows in person and in front of living, breathing, sweating and dancing humans, the mebmers of Mildlife travelled by boat to a long-abandoned 19th Century island fort on South Channel Island to play for fairy penguins and abalone poachers.
The end result: Live from South Channel Island, a 70 minute concert film and live album, in which the band recreate their live show while framed by Port Philip Bay. Live from South Channel Island is slated for an April 29, 2022 release through Heavenly Recordings/[PIAS] — and the band shared the album’s first single, an expansive live rendition of the Wish You Were Here era Pink Floyd meets jazz fusion-like “Citations,” which appears on Automatic. Of course, the accompanying live footage is at simultaneously eerie and jaw-dropping.
Along with the announcement of the album, the acclaimed Aussie outfit announced a 2022 EU and UK tour. For my European Union and UK friends, those dates are below.
2022 EU Tour
19 April, Cologne, DE – Artheater
20 April Berlin, DE – Lido
21 April Hamburg, DE, Nachtasyl
23 April Copenhagen, DK – Loppen
24 April Oslo, NO – Parkteatret
26 April Stockholm SW – Obaren
27 April Lund, SW – Mejeriet
29 April Utrecht, NL – EKKO
30 April Amsertdam, NL – Paradiso Noord
1 May Njmegen, NL – Merleyn
2 May Brussels, BE – Ancienne Belgique
4 May Tourcoming FR – Le Grand Mix
6 May Cenon FR – Le Rocher De Palmer
7 May Barcelona ES – El Pumarejo
8 May Madrid, ES – El Sol
10 May Annecy, FR – La Brise Glace
11 May Dudingen, CH – Bad Bonn
12 May Zurich, CH – Bogen
13 May Paris, FR – Le Badaboum
2022 UK Tour
15 May Bristol, Thekla UK
16 May Birmingham, Hare & Hounds UK
17 May Sheffield, The Leadmill UK
19 May Glasgow, Stereo UK
20 May Leeds, The Brudenell Social Club UK
21 May Liverpool, Zanzibar UK
22 May Manchester, UK
24 May London, Village Underground UK
25 May Brighton, Patterns UK