Rhye on Durham Cool, Why Rhye? Find out for yer good self.
April 9, 2018 | Bob Boilen — It seemed only fitting that when Rhye performed the band’s Tiny Desk Concert that it be at night, illuminated by flickering light. The music Mike Milosh sings and writes conjures the evening and a swaying, romantic vibe. It was five years ago nearly to the day that we filmed Rhye by candlelight in New York City as the band toured for its enigmatic album Woman. Mike Milosh requested that Rhye’s members be filmed “only in silhouette, with the lights dimmed low” at Le Poisson Rouge show. This time around the hundred or so flickering lights set the tone for the sextet of strings, keyboard, guitar, bass and drums to perform music from 2018’s Blood. The sound is warm and velvety, all the instruments gently pulsing, as Mike Milosh softly sings with that high-pitched yearn. Tiny Desk Concerts are often awkward by nature — bands playing in the middle of an office in the daytime for musicians used to playing in the evening, with stage lighting. But there was a special transformation that took place at this Tiny Desk the moment the music kicked in. I’m a sucker for a vibe in music — that feeling when a sound completely shifts the mood of a room. This vibe was more like a house show than an office, which put me in a pensive, pleasant place. Sit back and enjoy. Set List “Please” “Taste” “Song For You” Credits Producers: Bob Boilen, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Bronson Arcuri, CJ Riculan, Dani Lyman; Production Assistant: Joshua Bote; Photo: Eslah Attar/NPR.
EDITORS’ NOTES Rhye’s music is so Sade-like and heavy with musical instruments that it might seem odd to label it electronic. Yet it shares the chillwave DNA of The xx, Inc., and even Toro y Moi. Woman is an appropriately earthly title for this silky-smooth debut, perfect for a laidback late-night lounge set. “The Fall” layers murmuring piano phrases with a woozy, danceable mélange of brass and synthetic strings. Meanwhile, violins and cascading harps introduce the finger-snapping swing of “Open.” Michael Milosh’s falsetto vocals are androgynous and pitch-perfect.
11 Songs, 42 Minutes Preview EDITORS’ NOTES Rhye’s exquisite sophomore album finds singer/songwriter Mike Milosh exploring band-oriented arrangements. Inspired by the tour following his first album, Woman—in which an organist, string players, and a brass and rhythm section joined him on stage—Milosh sought to bring some of that live energy to Blood. He tapped seasoned producers and songwriters (Thomas Bartlett, Justin Parker) and guest instrumentalists (Tamar Osborn, Nate Mercereau) to add subtle doses of warmth and texture (the punctuating horns on “Feel Your Weight,” the plucky strings on “Taste”). Still, though, nothing can compete with Milosh’s soul-stirring soprano, which soars over the instrumentation like a bird above clouds.