Mild High Club has announced their second full-length album, Skiptracing, due out August 26th on Stones Throw Records. It’s the follow-up to last year’s Timeline. Today, the shared the first single from Skiptracing, “Homage,” which is available to stream above. It's a dreamscape later John Lennon years type of tune that traverses through the psychedelia and stopping by various pop style genres throughout. It's an interesting song and with it ending before you can even wrap your head around what just took place, we can't quite tell how much we enjoy "Homage." And that's a good thing.
“The difference between Timeline and Skiptracing is detail,” Brettin said. “I was stubborn with the process for Timeline; it took almost three years to let go of it.” On Timeline, Brettin resorted to vague lyrics so as to highlight the music itself. But for Skiptracing, there’s both a heightened thematic aspect as well as more complex musical arrangements encasing it. In Brettin’s estimation, the album’s story arc is that of a “private investigator attempting to trace the steps of the sound and the spirit of American music.”
And in investigating the spirit of American music, Mild High Club re-imagine AM radio hits as blasting in from a parallel universe, the sound of early 70s LA in a smog of sativa. If Todd Rundgren was the primary touchstone for Timeline, Brettin and band now look to the wry, trenchant wit of Steely Dan, gazing deep into the dark underbelly of sun-bright LA and coming away with catchy songs underpinned by slippery jazz phrasings.
Dig deeper into the lyrics and imagery and that detective story slowly emerges. But it’s no simple whodunit? Instead, think The Long Goodbye, The Late Show, Chinatown, Night Moves or any early 70s inversion of the detective noir genre, where the gumshoe protagonist ultimately winds up investigating himself, navel-gazing so as to solve the ultimate mystery. Skiptracing is Philip Marlowe driving around LA listening to Caetano Veloso or that deleted scene in John Cassavetes’s The Killing of a Chinese Bookie were Cosmo Vitelli reads Cosmic Trigger.
Mild High Club will tour extensively in support of Skiptracing with a slew of headline dates and stops at 4Knots Music Festival, Capitol Hill Block Party, Pygmalion Festival and more.