One of the most buzzed-about acts at this year’s just-wrapped South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, Texas was Rhye, the Los Angeles-based collaboration between producers/vocalists/instrumentalists Robin Braun (Quadron, Boom Clap Bachelors) and Mike Milosh, who had previously released three albums on Quadron’s label Plug Research.
Braun and Milosh first came together in 2010 and two singles, “Open” and “The Fall,” were released in 2012 under the Rhye banner. Because the duo chose to drop the tracks without an accompanying press photo (and because Milosh’s voice is soft and in a high register), it was assumed that a female singer led Rhye.
With Rhye’s full-length, Woman, released earlier this month to great acclaim, Braun and Milosh have been a little less press-shy, agreeing to interviews and performing live with a full band. Even in this context, Woman is an otherworldly listen.
The album opens with “Open,” a down tempo slice of poignant pop, and the more upbeat “The Fall” and moves through eight additional songs, all just as strong. Highlights include the baroque “3 Days” and the record-closing title track. Fans of 80’s blue-eyed soul (Swing Out Sister, Communards) and acolytes of Jeff Buckley and Antony and the Johnsons will most certainly be swept away.
Rhye will be on tour in North America in April with shows scheduled in LA, San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, Cambridge (Massachusetts), NYC, Washington DC and Philadelphia.