It has been a busy year for all round good bloke, Mickey Kojak. With a string of releases leading up to this EP, plus playing shows alongside the likes of Motez, Mac Demarco, Van Morrison, Aphex Twin, and having the chance to debut his own live show, which is awesome to witness. He has earned himself quite a reputation within the music community as the king of the keys, which is extremely evident in his music. To bring out an already incredible year, he has now given us a six-track ep titled “Surrender”.
The ep kicks things off with ‘I’m not the right one’, which is a slow builder, not in the sense that it is building to a great drop or pinnacle moment, but in that the mood and atmosphere of the track is constantly lifting. The vocals match, building in intensity and depth both in tone and in lyrical context. Coming in next ‘Watch Me Drown’ is a bit more up tempo, you can hear from the get go the layered levels of synths coming in to set a really nice tone. The multiple layered vocals create a really interesting sound throughout the chorus, caught somewhere between a depressant and an upper.
As the ep progresses you really get a sense of heavy emotional ties to the music that has been created. ‘All That’s Left To Care’ is a prime example. The opening is very reminiscent of something you’d expect to hear in a 1960s jazz bar in downtown New York, with soft a slow chords and vocals, then out of nowhere it hits you with this insane electronica drop, so many noises infused together to make erratic beats. Perhaps signalling the jumbled thoughts of such a talented artist?
On the back up from a more electronic shift mid way through the ep, ‘Save Your Breath’ comes out swinging as a real festival jam. It’s poppy kick, lightly hit synths and catchy vocal opens up the elements of this release so well. It shifts the mood from listening music that makes you think deeply, to dancing in front of your computer and forgetting all your worries. Next up is one of the lead singles from the ep, ‘Ghost’. It keeps things rather up beat, with a nice introduction of percussion elements on the higher pitched side of things, a softer kick and more gentle vocals. Whilst lyrically it is quite emotional and depressive, the way the song is structured it still feels positive.
Tying everything together at the end is ‘Surrender’, the title-track for the ep. This slows things right back down and has an almost “Grand Theft Auto Vice” feel to it. As though it’s the end track as you’re driving down the main strip in a stolen Cadillac. It really showcases Mickeys ability to manipulate and edit sound to create whatever he wants, picking apart and putting a puzzle of sound to suit the way he wants it to. This work is innovative and pushes some boundaries in music, which is awesome. There is a certain element to the ep that has the concepts of ‘Currents’ by Tame Impala in it. Where it almost feels like an experiment of sound. Either way, it’s exciting and promising for the future of music in Australia.
“Surrender EP” is out everywhere today via One Love.
author: Elliott Armour