To The Sea and Swim is the first in a trilogy of EPs planned for release by Galway-based Milan Jay, and the follow-up to his (free) 2009 album Mellow Funk. He’s previously described his music as ‘mellowtronica’, but that doesn’t do justice to the stylistic range that characterises this release in particular.
Opening with fuzzy, wall-of-sound guitars and crashing drums, the intro of ‘With The River Flow’ is certainly far from mellow, but it segues neatly into a kaleidoscopic, shimmering slice of off-kilter pop that calls to mind The Beta Band or the Super Furry Animals. The title track follows, a swelling, superbly layered track lent a pastoral touch by strings and piano. ‘Jupiter Falls’ is a hypnotic, supremely chilled tune, its gently pulsing loops producing a floating ambience. ‘We Believe’, meanwhile, previously released as a single, ups the tempo with lively synths and treated, buoyant vocals; towards the end, it verges on being a full-on electronic rave-up.
Overall, To The Sea And Swim is a stunning and varied EP, and if there’s more of the same to come over the next while, then it would seem that Milan Jay’s star is firmly in the ascent.